Slumdog star loses Oscar in shack fire

SLUMDOG Millionaire child star Rubina Ali says her home and the awards she won for the Oscar-winning film had been destroyed in a fire that raged through a congested Mumbai slum.

The family of 12-year-old Rubina, who played the role of young poverty-stricken Latika in Danny Boyle’s movie, watched helplessly as their tin-roofed shack in the crowded slum went up in flames late on Friday.

“I have lost everything, including books and precious belongings like awards, photographs, newspaper clippings and memorabilia from the success of the film,” Rubina said, according to the Press Trust of India.

Rubina was just eight when she appeared in the rags-to-riches blockbuster, which won eight Oscars in 2009 and her journey from Mumbai slum to Hollywood red carpet made her famous around the world.

“We all were at home watching TV when a neighbour came to alert us about the fire. We all rushed out. We spent the entire night at the railway station,” Rubina said.

“So far nobody has come to help us.”

The blaze raced through the slum in the Mumbai suburb of Bandra on Friday evening, injuring at least 21 people and leaving 2,000 people homeless, a fire official said.

“We feel relieved to see that all our family members are safe. But all the good memories of my daughter’s fame have been reduced to ashes. We have lost everything,” Rubina’s father Rafiq Ali said.

Rubina said the family was yet to move into a new apartment paid for by a trust set up by Slumdog director Boyle.

More than half of Mumbai’s estimated 18 million residents live in either officially designated slums or illegal shanties.

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