There was music, singing, dancing, sweets and garlands for actors Rubiana Ali and Azharuddin Ismail as they returned home to a triumphant welcome in Mumbai. “America was just fantastic,” exclaimed Rubiana, for whom a big future is predicted, “I was so excited to be on stage at the Oscars. Everyone was crying.” The highlight of the trip for her was a visit to Disneyland. “I loved all the rides,” she said, “Especially the fast ones.”
Azharuddin’s mother had hopes that the whole experience would provide a more lasting benefit for her son, “It would be nice to get a proper home,” she said. She has heard the stories that the Mumbai government has promised them a home but has not had any contact so far. “I’ve been praying for a new home for so long. It’s all up to Allah now,” she concluded.
The director, Oscar-winner Danny Boyle, confirms that he has been working to secure the children’s future. “We thought long and hard about how best we could benefit them and we decided to put in place an education plan for them,” he said “We’ve placed them in school, a very good school, which will be paid for them until they’re 18. If they stay in school until they’re 18, a substantial sum of money will then be released to them — and that will effectively change their lives for the better.”