"We want to set it up as soon as possible. What absolutely must not happen is that the money disappears, or people think this is a PR stunt," Times Online quoted Boyle as saying. The film, which tracks the story of an 18-year-old slum dweller from rags to riches, has earned millions at box office.
"This is our chance to give something back to an extraordinary city which has helped us produce an extraordinary film," Boyle said. "We came up with it once we realised what a success the film was becoming after the Golden Globes," he added.
However, Boyle insisted that the fund was not being set up in response to criticism of the film regarding financial exploitation of its child stars. Boyle said that the aim of the fund would be to help underprivileged children. The fund would distribute money to projects in Mumbai and perhaps the rest of India.
The movie bosses have also denied financial exploitation of its child actors. Christian Colson, one of Slumdog's producers said Rubina Ali, who played the young Latika, and Azharuddin Ismail, who played Salim, were paid 'three times the amount of an annual adult salary' for what amounted to a month"s work.
Moreover, a substantial lump sum would be paid to the children once they reached 18 and completed their studies. "It's a carrot to encourage them to stay at school," Colson added.
Boyle also said the word "slumdog" wasn't intended as an insult. "It's meant as 'underdog', the romantic idea of a guy succeeding on his own terms against all kinds of adversity," he said. "We tried to reflect as much of the city as we could. It's a place of extremes. The 'feel-good element' comes from Mumbai having this extraordinary resilience and effervescence of energy. Like New York, it's a city that grabs you by the throat and says 'Welcome'. I am proud of it," he added.
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