A trust established by the makers of Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire told EW via a statement today that it was looking after the welfare of the film’s child stars. The statement from the Jai Ho Trust comes in the wake of reports that the father of 9-year-old Slumdog actress Rubina Ali allegedly tried to sell his daughter for more than $300,000 when reporters from Britain’s News of the World newspaper made the offer as part of an undercover sting operation. Ali’s father, Rafiq Qureshi, has denied that he intended to sell his daughter. Indian police are currently investigating the matter.
The Jai Ho Trust (which is in part supported by Slumdog director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson) issued the following statement:
The Jai Ho Trust was established with financial support from the filmmakers of Slumdog Millionaire to support the welfare of child stars of the film. The trust is in regular contact with Rubina Ali and her family and has hired a social worker to assist in looking after her welfare and that of her co-star [Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail].
The Trust will support Rubina, her parents and responsible authorities, to ensure that the rights and best interests of Rubina are protected.
1.) The family will be provided with suitable accommodation;
2.) The family will be provided with a fixed sum of money every month towards their living costs;
3.) Education costs for Rubina, Azharuddin and their siblings will be provided for by the Trust;
4.) A lump sum will be built up for each of the children which will be available to them for tertiary education or business development after they turn 18 years old and at the discretion of the trustees.
5.) A trained social worker will be hired by the Trust to periodically counsel the children and the family.
The Jai Ho Trust requests the media consider the possible negative impacts of the recent media scrutiny on 9-year-old Rubina, and assist in protecting her interests through sensitive reporting to limit further unnecessary exploitation of her rights and interests.
–Additional reporting by Missy Schwartz
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