Slumdog makers announce £500,000 fund for Plan India

MUMBAI: The team behind the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire announced in London today, funding of £500,000 to Plan India, a child centered development organisation which has worked to improve the lives of children in India for 30 years.

This donation will support Plan’s program in a slum community located in central Mumbai. The program focuses on early childhood care, education, health, water & sanitation and child protection. Through this support Plan hopes to reach directly to 2,000 families and 5,000 children.

The cast and crew of Slumdog Millionaire became associated with Plan when Anil Kapoor donated his fees from the film to support the prevention of exploitation and abuse of India’s most vulnerable children. They were also part of special charity dinner and art auction hosted by Kapoor where leading corporate CEOs, diplomats, politicians, designers and eminent dignitaries in their respective fields joined to pledge their support for Plan’s work.

Plan India’s patron and goodwill ambassador Anil Kapoor said, "Slumdog Millionaire is a film, which epitomizes the positive spirit of children and the film’s success is an inspiration and a way forward to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children of Mumbai."

Slumdog Millionaire producer Christian Colson said, "The money should allow thousands of youngsters to get an education and access to good healthcare. We are grateful to everyone who has supported this initiative and we are looking forward to working with Plan to ensure that the money is put to the best possible use."

Director Danny Boyle added, "Slumdog Millionaire’s success is to support the underprivileged children of Mumbai." He added, "Having benefitted so much from the hospitality of the people of Mumbai it is only right that some of the success of the movie be put back into the city in areas where it is needed most and where it can make a real difference to children’s lives. Despite intimidating odds, extraordinary work is going on to help people break the cycle of poverty through education. We’re delighted that this initiative will add to that ongoing work."

"The phenomenal global success of Slumdog Millionaire has helped focus attention on the needs of some of the most vulnerable children in India. Plan in India has a long history of helping communities create real and lasting change for children in India," said Plan India executive director Bhagyashri Dengle.

Meanwhile, in consultation with Plan, trustees have been appointed to a separate independent trust established by the filmmakers to provide for the welfare and educational needs of two of the film’s young stars. The “Jai Ho” Trust aims to ensure that Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail receive the benefit of an education and support till they reach adulthood.

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