"Slumdog" child star's Mumbai shanty home torn down

Friday, May 15, 2009

City authorities in Mumbai demolished
the shanty home of a "Slumdog Millionaire"
child star on Thursday, forcing his family
into the streets months after the
Oscar-winning film shot him to global fame.

Ismail's tarpaulin-covered home in a
teeming slum was one of several shanties,
illegally built along a drain,
that were demolished by local authorities
in Mumbai, India's financial capital
and entertainment hub.

Azharuddin Ismail, 9,
played the character of Salim as a child in the film,
a rags-to-riches romance about
a poor Indian boy competing for
love and money on a television game show.

"When they came I was sleeping, they shook me awake
and one policeman even threatened me,"
Ismail, surrounded by half-broken suitcases
filled with clothes and utensils.
"What can I do if they have demolished my house?
I will sleep out in the open."