Even as Slumdog Millionaire's Ayush Mahesh Khedekar is holidaying at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, his co-star Rubina Ali is facing the harsh realities of life back home. Rubina's house in the Garib Nagar slums in suburban Mumbai was demolished by the railway police officials this morning.
Nearly two dozen railway police officials landed at the Garib Nagar slums near the Bandra railway station and razed down Rubina's home stating it was illegal.
"I had gone to market and didn't even know that my house was demolished," Rubina said. "They even beat up my father, who has been admitted in hospital."
"We have electricity bills and ration card to prove that we are legal residents of this place," says Rubina's mother Munni Qureshi. "But they didn't listen to us. They didn't give us any notice. They just came and demolished our home."
Around 25 shanties located near the Bandra railway station were razed to the ground at 11 am. Only a few days ago, the other child star of Slumdog, Mohammad Azharuddin's shanty was torn down.
Did she lose any of her toys in the demolition? "I dropped my mobile phone when I rushed towards my house in a state of shock," Rubina says. "It's out of order now. I used to play games on it. Now, I don't know what I will play with."
"We have not gained anything out of the success of Slumdog Millionaire," says Munni. "The least the government can do for us is give us a home under some scheme."
So where will they sleep at night now? "I will sleep under the sky since I have no home. I will sleep at the same place," Rubina says.
When this reporter approached the demolition squad leader, he refused to divulge any detail. He refused to give his name too.
"All I can say is that this is an illegal slum," he says. "They had encroached on railway land and so we had to demolish it," he says.
Source: Rediff News and Rediff ishare video