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Slumdog kid's home is broken down

May 14, 2009 17:01 IST

Slumdog kid's home is broken down

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Nithya Ramani

Mohammad Azharuddin may have won international fame, thanks to his Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, but his life is far from perfect. His shanty in Garib Nagar in Bandra, a Mumbai suburb, was torn down by the Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika (BMC) early this morning.

The young lad, who won accolades for his performance as Salim in the film, was seen among debris of his home.


Image: Mohammad Azharuddin
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani
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His shanty was made of billboard banners and plastic sheaths but now, he does not even have that.

So ironic that this boy came to Mumbai in a white Mercedes after winning at the Oscars only a few months ago.


Image: Azhar's mother (in red)

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The film brought fame and good education to Azhar but it also threw light on his illegal house. Living in the encroached area Azhar's mother Shamim Begum says, "The municipality has been breaking down our house 10-15 times every year. They just come, run bulldozers over and break the place for no reason. We are illiterate and don't know who to go to for justice. If we question the BMC, they chase us away and the police asks us for a fine of Rs 5,000."

Both Azhar and his co-star Rubina Ali were promised proper houses by the MHADA. "If we had a proper house to live in, why would we still live here and suffer? We don't have any other place to live," Shamim says.


Image: Azhar and his mother

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Playing with a chicken among the debris, the 10-year old Azhar tries to hide his distress behind a smile. "I was sleeping when people came and broke down my house," he said. "The police chased us out of our house."


Image: The home debris

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