Will Slumdog Child Be Put Up For Adoption?
The movie Slumdog Millionaire did more than just win a number of awards and put young children from the slums of India in the spotlight. The movie has put new focus on the issue of children living in poverty. Some time ago it was reported that the father of one of the children was photographed beating the boy because he refused to talk to a reporter after the family had been paid money to have the child interviewed. Another story talked about Rubina Ali refusing to take off the blue dress she wore to the Oscars.
Now in another somewhat sordid twist, the father of Rubina Ali is said to be interested in selling her to highest bidder according to published online reports. The story claims that the father is asking for as much as $300,000 for the little girl. A reporter approached the father, Rafiq Qureshi, under the guise of representing an Arab sheik who wanted to adopt her.
Qureshi was quoted as saying to the journalist, “We are considering Rubina’s future. Obviously if you wanted to adopt we could discuss this, but her parents would also expect some proper compensation in return. We are talking of around £50,000 for this to happen. We can discuss everything about this deal when we meet. There’s a lot of interest in Rubina, she’s become very famous.” Even the little girl’s brother offered his view adding, “The child is special now. This is Not an ordinary child. This is an Oscar child.”
It is easy to be upset at what has transpired and to judge the parents for trying to ‘sell’ their daughter as the media has claimed. But what we should be reminded of is the horrible decisions people living in abject poverty sometimes feel forced to make. Children’s charities have already spoken on the issue, offering their help to the family. I really hope that this will lead to some significant change which can help her father rethink this decision.
The family may be desperately poor, but there is no guarantee that going to a wealthy family would be the best thing for her. I don’t want to ignite a firestorm here, but I am reminded of the case of the Cuban refugee, Elian Gonzalez. The little boy’s mother died while trying to reach America. On the other hand, his father just wanted him back in Cuba, even though in the opinion of many, he would have been better off in the USA.
Is it too much to hope for that there will be some serious discussion on the issue of childhood poverty? Maybe some of these charities that weighed in on this case could spearhead a drive to really tackle this problem head on. It is a monumental task, no doubt, but it is horrible to imagine that there are families out there that are making these decisions because they feel it is the right thing to do. Or I am sure some may say they are just doing it for the money. I guess it depends on how you see it. At any rate, there may be a happy ending after all. Save The Children’s Adrian Lovett was quoted as saying, “Save the Children pays tribute to the News of the World for highlighting this awful reality. We will do all we can to help Rubina.”