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Friday, February 20, 2009

Karuna supports street children in Mumbai - as publicised by Danny Boyle in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Girl living at Mumbai Central Station.  Photo by DhammaratiThe film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is a high energy tale of hope and love reflected through the lives of slum dwellers and street children in Mumbai (Bombay), India. It's recently swept the BAFTA Film Awards, winning in the Best Film, Director and five other categories - and the 'Golden Globes' last month where it won four honours including best drama.  And - most recently - its won 8 Oscars including Danny Boyle as best director.

The film captures the technicolour chaos of India and regurgitates it into a cinematic experience. However, the director hasn’t shied away from highlighting the issues still facing contemporary India including sectarian violence, high levels of poverty and child exploitation. But these issues are balanced with doses of humour including an obligatory toilet scene (something for which Danny Boyle is renowned).

Karuna, the FWBO's largest and longest-established fundraising charity, has worked for many years in Mumbai. One of its project partners there is Saathi (, who provide shelter, counselling and vocational training to vulnerable children. Saathi focuses on runaway children arriving at Mumbai central railway station - who, not surprisingly, are particularly susceptible to exploitation. Indeed many scenes in the film are based in and around this station and highlight the vulnerability of street children in India. Saathi aims to prevent these children reaching the streets and establishing a life there.

Karuna raises most of its funds with the help of volunteers who take part in their Karuna Fundraising Appeals. They've contacted FWBO News to ask - would you like to help street children like those in Slumdog Millionaire escape a life of crime and poverty? If so, would you consider joining a Fundraising Appeal?

For information contact Jo, Khemajala or Santavajri on 0207 700 3434 or visit

If you would like more information about Karuna and the work they support in Asia please visit the Karuna website - or to find out how to donate to Karuna please go to

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