The film reveals the oppression, prejudices and economic exploitation of the people living in in Mumbai, India. The movie opens up with Jamal, a Mumbai teen who grew up in the “slums”, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers to the million dollar questions. The course of the events throughout the movie take the viewers through different scenes of Jamal and his younger brother, Salim being exploited, abused and neglected.
In the village of Mumbai, there was a battle between Hindu and Muslims extremists.Jamal and Salim’smother was killed in front of them in a religious riot that targeted Muslims in the slums of Mumbai. During the riot, houses were set a fire, people where beaten and burned to death. After the death of their mother, the boys were orphans and left to survive on their own. To survive they began to commit petty crimes. One day they are approached by a man who took them under his care in what they consider to be “love”. The man runs a criminal orphanage and exploits the children to rob and sell for him. For the children to appear more hopeless and bring in a bigger profit, one of their eyes were taken out. After escaping the camp, the boys were forced to explore the world around them on their own riding on top of trains as their means of transportation. Continuing to rob and sell to make a living, they end up becoming tour guides at the Taj Mahal, providing tourists with a view of India from their standpoint to make extra money.
Throughout the film the people of the Mumbai village where shown picking through the slums to possibility find scraps they could sell for money and food to eat. Kids are were shown digging in the trash for food and drinking dirty water. The same water was used to drink, take baths and wash clothes. Also, many of the children didn’t wear shirts and shoes as they played. Thus, increasing the possibility to get an infected cut from the glass and trash throughout the streets of the village. The film displays the indomitable will of the kids in the slums to survive. The film also displayed the innocence of children even through poverty and “slavery”, the children still managed to have fun. Although the children seemed to overcome their hardships, throughout the whole film there appeared to be no genuine concern for the safety of children as they were abused and constantly unsupervised.
The film opens with Jamal being toured and electrocuted for possibly cheating and this display of violence continues throughout the film. Witnessing violent acts and crimes has an effect on a child’s behavior, development, and school performance and emotional well-being.
The film definitely sheds light on the way the children in India are living and displayed the poverty levels there. Hopefully, this encourages YD professionals to reach out and support organizations that assist poverty stricken countries and aims to stop child exploitation. In India, nearly half a billion people struggle to survive on less than $1.25 a day. These innocent children and families are all too familiar with the suffering caused by poverty—it robs them of hope and threatens to steal their future (www.worldvision.org). As youth professionals, we can help fight poverty by sponsoring a child in need by donating to organizations such as World Vision. Hopefully, this film encourages YD professionals to think globally by exploring different cultures. Some of the issues displayed in the film we also deal with in the U.S. concerning our youth. For example, the children in the film would be considered “at-risk” due to their absence from school, committing petty crimes and unsupervised lifestyle. It is beneficial to understand the challenges facing our youth here in the U.S are similar throughout the world. Therefore, by understanding that the issues are similar this should make the transition of thinking globally easier.
Slumdog Millionaire <br />Presented By:<br />Juanita “Shay” Morrow<br />HDFS 892<br />Summer 2011<br />Smith, P., Ross, T. (Producers), & Boyle, D., Tandan, L. (Directors). (2008). Slumdog Millionaire. United Kingdom: Fox Searchlight Pictures. <br />
Exploitation of the Indian Children<br />Children were working to help family get out of debt and survive.<br />Lack of Education<br />Children went taken out of school and forced to work<br />Children worked long and rigid hours in factories and restaurants<br />Child Labor Laws?<br />Forced to live in a camp with other children under role of a “Master” who exploited the children for his benefit.<br />Forced them to sell and beg on the streets of Indian<br />Sexual Exploitation<br />Girls were exploited for her virginity and sold.<br />Only negative events were highlighted.<br />No area of the film celebrated the children’ s positive outcomes.<br />Such as the brother’s perseverance and unity.<br />
Harsh Living Environments: Poverty<br />The “slums” where the children played were dirty and infested with trash and possibly diseases.<br />Infected rats <br />Due to lack of money and resources, children probably got infections from playing in such areas and were not treated.<br />Unsanitary Conditions<br />Sleeping<br />Eating<br />Working<br />Children were shown digging in the trash for food.<br />Unsanitary water<br /> The same water was used to drink, take baths and wash clothes.<br />
Physical and Mental Abuse<br />Children were abused by adults<br />Police and authority figures were shown abusing children throughout the film.<br /> eyes are taken out to appear more helpless while begging.<br />Beaten as a form of punishment<br />Violence<br />The physical abuse forced the children to carry guns and react violently<br />Co-Victimization<br />Jamal and Salim’s mother were killed in front of them<br />Children witnessed several acts of violence<br />
Recommendation for YD Professionals<br />Culture<br />Understanding<br />Compare/Contrast<br />Poverty<br />Donations<br />Adopt/Sponsor a child<br />Thinking Globally<br />Organizations that help India<br />“At-risk” youth<br />