Slumdog… book helps raise money for underprivileged kids

Special copies of Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup’s book, which was adapted for the eight-Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire, has been auctioned online to raise funds for an NGO engaged in child welfare.

Online trading website Ebay India has auctioned three copies of Vikas Swarup’s book “Q & A”, reissued as “Slumdog Millionaire”. It has forwarded the proceeds to Plan India, the NGO.

The first charity auction of the three collectors’ copies was won by a Belgian for Rs.16,600, a testimony to the movie and the book’s global fan following.

“I read about the auction in a Belgian Newspaper, De Standaard, on Feb 19. I had also read that Anil Kapoor had given his film earnings to Plan India for the birth registration campaign, so I did my bid – not even dreaming to be the winner,” said Geert Robberechts, on winning the autographed book.

“I would not have minded paying more than Rs.16,600 also for the book. I figured this could be a good way of doing my bit for the society,” added Robberechts.

A collector from Hyderabad won the second charity auction of the novel for Rs.5,000.

But why would people shell out more than the price of the book?

“It’s an opportunity for people who want to have an autographed edition of this famous book. The three editions were autographed by actors Dev Patel and Freida Pinto. It’s a collector’s item, which is not otherwise available in the market. This makes the books special,” Deepa Thomas, corporate communications head, Ebay India.

Plan India is engaged in helping child labour, disabled kids, orphans, HIV/AIDS infected and also those who are affected by natural disasters apart from supporting other causes.

“We are running a charity programme with Plan India since 2005. Since Anil Kapoor is their brand ambassador, they supplied the books to us, which we had put up for auction. The funds of the first two books have already reached the NGO and the next will be delivered after the result of the third auction on March 2,” said Thomas.

“The film has been such a success. Also one of the Oscars was for best-adapted screenplay, so it’s natural that people will go for the book,” she added.

Slumdog Millionaire, the tale of an 18-year-old slumdweller who goes on to become a millionaire by winning a quiz show, has been in the limelight after its eight oscar wins.

The film is changing the lives of two slum kids – Azharuddin Shaikh Ismail Usman and Rubina Rafiq Asghar Ali Qureshi – who played important roles. They brushed shoulders with the Hollywood biggies on Oscar red carpet and now the producer of the film has promised to provide them houses and has also said their education will be funded.

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