Slumdog Producers Donate $740,000 to Indian Kids

Slumdog Producers Donate $740,000 to Indian Kids
Azhar Ismail (left) and Rubina Ali
Arko Datta/Reuters/Landov

updated 04/15/2009 at 06:00 PM EDT

originally published 04/16/2009 07:00AM

The producers of Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire are hoping the change the lives of some real life children living in Mumbai slums.

On Thursday, the filmmakers announced they would donate of £500,000 (about $742,000) to create a five-year program aimed at providing healthcare and education for children in conjunction with Plan, an international children development organization.

"Having benefited so much from the hospitality of the people of Mumbai it is only right that some of the success of the movie be ploughed back into the city in areas where it is needed most and where it can make a real difference to some lives," Slumdog's director Danny Boyle said in a statement.

In addition to the £500,000, a separate trust, called the Jai Ho Trust, has been established to look after two of the film's child stars – Rubina Ali (youngest Latika) and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail (youngest Salim) – and ensure that they receive an education and have housing provided for them.

"Slumdog Millionaire has shown audiences around the world a snapshot of what life is like for one in six people on the planet," Plan UK's chief executive Marie Staunton said in a statement. "Education really is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty so we will focus the funds on getting children into school, keeping them there and ensuring they are healthy."

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