No class, no cash: Tru­ancy jeop­ar­dizes ‘Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire’ kids’ trust funds

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - Entertainment -

MUM­BAI, IN­DIA — The slum kid stars of “ Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire” want a lot of things in life — new houses, a car, trips to Lon­don and Paris — but they aren’t too in­ter­ested in school.

Ten-year-old Ru­bina Ali has missed nearly 75 per cent of her classes and her co-star hasn’t done much bet­ter — tru­ancy that film­mak­ers say will jeop­ar­dize their trust funds and monthly stipends if it con­tin­ues.

Their par­ents blame the ab­sences on deaths in the fam­ily or other mis­for­tunes, in­clud­ing the de­mo­li­tion of Ru­bina’s shanty by city au­thor­i­ties ear­lier this year, and have promised to do bet­ter.

But the film­mak­ers say the chil­dren are be­ing lured away by en­dorse­ment deals, tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances and other op­por­tu­ni­ties to cash in on their celebrity — at the risk of los­ing the money set aside for them once they grad­u­ate.

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