Slumdog but not a Millionaire!

Last updated on Feb 28, 2009

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

There has been a lot of hype around Slumdog Millionaire.. the Oscar, the poverty, the hunger and the rags to riches story.  Now, while the poverty that the movie shows is very real.. the way out for the millions of “slumdogs” is not as easy as it has been shown.  Most stories don’t end up on such a good note.

Four Oscars ago, a young girl, daughter of a prostitute in Kolkatta’s Sonagachi area had also made the trip to LA as the movie “Born into Brothels” by directors Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman won the Best Documentary Feature.[1]  Cakes were cut, photos were taken and then that young girl in her teens went back home.  She promised that she will never follow her mother’s profession.

A few months later, she had entered the oldest profession.  In September, 2005 she was rescued by the police as she was a minor.  Now as an adult, she is one of the 5000 prostitutes in Sonagachi.  She pays for her mother and thinks that her work has paid off well.. although she still wants to be out of this.  But can she?  Poverty and big powerful cartels won’t let her.

See another kid below from Mumbai’s slum – the very slum that Slumdog Millionaire talks about.  When I go to India, I feel ashamed of myself when I see the kids in poverty.  I feel that we – as human thinking beings – don’t have a right to even eat the food we do eat, when someone as young as this kid can’t get a decent roti!  And THAT is my point.  Slumdog almost made a mockery of such endemic and incurable poverty.  It was almost as if nothing needs to be done.. because many Jamals will win the lotteries despite all this.  The truth is.. it aint so!!

Reference Links:

1. Art vs reality: Kolkata’s Oscar 2005 has tragic twist

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