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Mother of "Slumdog" child celebrates Oscar haul

 Rubina Ali, who acted as the young Latika in the film
Rubina Ali, who acted as the young Latika in the film 'Slumdog Millionaire', looks at herself in a mirror at her uncle's residence in a slum in Mumbai February 20, 2009. REUTERS/Arko Datta
— image credit: Reuters

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The mother of one of the "Slumdog" child actors celebrated on Monday the film's eight Oscars from her home in an Indian shantytown, where relatives and neighbors had gathered to watch the awards ceremony on television.

"I'm so happy that my daughter has won this award and I could see her on stage with such big stars," said Muni Qureshi, mother of 8-year-old Rubina Ali, who played the young slum kid Latika in the film.

Ali, along with other child actors in the film, was flown to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony and she appeared on stage after the film's best motion picture award was announced.

The film has generated controversy in India, where some people find its name, and depiction of poverty, insulting.

But Qureshi, who lives with her daughter and the rest of the family in a ramshackle home with no running water in Mumbai's Garib Nagar slum, defended the film.

"I know that this film has been criticized for showcasing poverty. But it has also meant that a girl from the slums of Mumbai who could not even imagine that she would go abroad has reached the Oscars, so how can that be bad?" she said.

The rags-to-riches romance "Slumdog Millionaire" scooped up eight Oscars, the most of any movie this year, including best motion picture.

Briton Danny Boyle was named best director for the often dark but ultimately hopeful tale about a poor Indian boy who competes for love and money on a TV game show.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Writing by Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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