The makers of the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire” have donated $747,500 to a charity devoted to improving the lives of street children in Mumbai, the filmmakers said Thursday.
The money will be given to Plan, an international children’s charity that has been working in India since 1979.
The aim is to help educate 5,000 slum kids over the next five years.
“The bottom line is that some of the beneficiaries of the film’s success have got together to make a donation which will be channeled into relatively small communities where it can hopefully have a tangible and lasting impact,” producer Christian Colson told The Associated Press by e-mail.
Some criticized the filmmakers for failing to share those riches with Mumbai’s millions of slum dwellers. Others accused them of exploiting two of the movie’s child stars, Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, who grew up in a wretched Mumbai slum just minutes from a posh Bollywood enclave.
The filmmakers’ initial efforts to help the families of Rubina, 9, and Azharuddin, 10, were thwarted by excessive media attention, the changing demands of family members and the runaway success of the film.
Sudden fame and relative fortune sowed resentment in the families of the child stars and complicated relations with their neighbors.
The filmmakers said Thursday they have appointed three trustees with long experience in social services to manage a trust fund for the two children. They said the children can tap the trust funds after they graduate from high school.
The Jai Ho Trust aims to ensure that the pair will get a good education, adequate housing and social support, the filmmakers said. They did not disclose the amount of the trust fund.