NSU’s Perry, UCA’s Sanchez Named Southland Softball Players of the Week

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – Northwestern State’s Alexis Perry is the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week, while Central Arkansas’ Rio Sanchez is the Pitcher of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday. All Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank.Perry claims the weekly hitting honor after eight hits on 16 plate appearances through six contests for Northwestern State. In addition to a pair of home runs, the freshman also registered a .875 slugging percentage and a .529 on-base percentage for the week.Sanchez marked a stellar week for Central Arkansas recording wins in both of her appearances and holding opponents to a .063 batting average. The sophomore allowed no runs across 10 innings pitched and twirled a no-hitter in her opening game of the week. Both awards are the first of the season for each recipient.Softball Hitter of the Week – Alexis Perry, Northwestern State – C – Fr. – Wylie, TexasPerry continued her impressive freshman season with eight hits and eight RBI in six games this week. The freshman cranked a three-run home run against Fairleigh Dickinson that broke a scoreless tie. Her two-RBI single against Houston Baptist also served as the Lady Demon’s first runs of the game. In Northwestern State’s second win over HBU, the Wylie, Texas, product had a pair of RBI as part of five-run NSU inning that extended a 1-run lead for the Lady Demons. Seven of her 8 RBI came against Fairleigh Dickinson and Houston Baptist.Honorable Mention: Kali Clement, Nicholls; Bobbi Smith, Southeastern Louisiana; Kaylyn Shpeherd, Central Arkansas; Justyce McClain, McNeese; Heidi Jaquez, Houston Baptist.Softball Pitcher of the Week – Rio Sanchez, Central Arkansas – So. – Erie, Colo.Rio Sanchez was dominant in her two starts this week, holding opponents scoreless across 10 innings. The sophomore tossed a no-hitter, the second of her career, Wednesday against Arkansas – Pine Bluff, striking out nine of 15 batters along the way. She followed that performances up with a complete game two-hit shutout victory over Jackson State Monday afternoon.Honorable Mention: Samantha Guile, Northwestern State; Amber Coons, McNeese; Elliot Estes, Houston Baptist.Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots.last_img read more

Missing Timehri man found dead on Craig sea dam

first_imgThe decomposed body of a labourer was on Wednesday found on a sea dam in Craig Village, East Bank Demerara (EBD).The body was later identified as that of 53-year-old Infant Forrester, also called “Bolt and Nut”, of Timehri, EBD.The man’s body was spotted by fishermen in the area, who quickly alerted residents who in turn contacted the Police. Guyana Time s understands that the man was taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre about three weeks ago by one of his employers, but was not seen since.Dexter Forrester, the dead man’s son, reported that his father was not a troublemaker but was an alcoholic. In addition, he would suffer seizures on a regular basis. The younger Forrester also claimed that they searched for his father, but came up empty handed.He noted that he was at work when he received a call from a friend informing him that a body was found at Craig, EBD. He immediately rushed to the scene, but by then the body had been removed and taken to the Lyken Funeral Home.The younger Forrester visited the mortuary and it was then he positively identified the body as that of his father.last_img read more

Men jointly charged for robbing cop

first_imgThree men who were separately charged for robbing a police constable were on Tuesday charged jointly for the offence.Keston Duke, 21, of Bent Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown; Joshua Austin of Lodge Housing Scheme, Georgetown and Michael Shepherd made their second appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Tuesday, where they were jointly charged.The three denied the offence which stated that on December 15, 2018, at Second Street, Alberttown, while they were in each other’s company, they robbed Julius Bowlin of a gold chain worth $21,000 and a pistol with six rounds of ammunition valued $125,000 – property of the Guyana Police Force.The trio was also charged for wounding Bowlin during the commission of the robbery.Police Prosecutor Sanj Singh on each of their prior hearings had objected to bail citing the seriousness of the offence and the fact that Austin has another assault matter in another court.Reports in December 2018 had stated that Bowlin was performing undercover duties next to a nightclub when he was robbed and later stabbed. The attack was captured on a nearby Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera. The stolen gun was later recovered in a garbage heap in South Ruimveldt, Georgetown.The cases were adjourned to May 2 and 7, 2019, when the trial will commence.Duke and Shepherd were released on $50,000 bail each on Tuesday by Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus. Austin was remanded to prison.last_img read more

California climate heating things up

first_img“We’ve essentially done an extreme makeover on the surface of California,” he said. The spread of heat-absorbing buildings, roads, and grassy lawns has caused the average temperatures of some urban areas to rise two or three times faster than their surroundings, said Steve LaDochy, a Cal State L.A. climatologist. In California, coastal areas and the southern third of the state – areas that have seen the largest population booms – also experienced the largest temperature increases. Overall, nighttime lows were affected more than daytime highs. At the Los Angeles Civic Center, for example, the average annual minimum temperature has increased 9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1878. The average highs, meanwhile, jumped 2 degrees Fahrenheit. There have been some benefits to the temperature rise – the warmer days and nights have been a boon for the California wine industry. But to many climatologists, the numbers forewarn a grim future. “The one reason I stayed on \ is because I’ve got seven grandkids, and I know how bad it could get,” said Tim Barnett, a researcher at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego. “By the time they’re my age, L.A., Phoenix and Sacramento could be ghost towns. “If you were to stabilize the \ emissions today, the planet would continue to warm for another 50 years,” Barnett said. “We’re taking a hit. The question is: How big of a hit is that going to be?” Among the long-term impacts will be the burden shrinking snowpacks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains will place on the state’s water supply, and the growing use of air conditioners will have on power consumption. “Absolutely we’re concerned about it,” said Eric Klinkner, assistant general manager of Pasadena’s Department of Water and Power. It’s still cheaper to buy water than build the infrastructure to recycle water, said Sean Kwan, head of the department’s water division. Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, was optimistic the state legislature will soon address climate change issues. “I think we have to look and see how we plan our communities,” Portantino said. “Urban sprawl is no longer the model for the future. We have to be smarter, and we have to be greener.” elise.kleeman@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA CA?ADA FLINTRIDGE – There’s no denying it, California is heating up. A study released this week by researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cal State L.A. has added to the growing collection of data showing the state’s temperatures are on the rise. According to the analysis of more than 330 weather stations, California’s average temperature has increased 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 50 years, said JPL climatologist Bill Patzert. Perhaps even more striking, though, is the impact that urban sprawl has contributed to the temperatures – even more than global warming, Patzert said. last_img read more

Yeovil Town swoop for Jeffers

first_img Shaun Jeffers 1 Yeovil Town have snapped up former Coventry City striker Shaun Jeffers on a one-year deal.The 23-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Newport County at the end of the season.Jeffers made 35 League Two appearances for County last year, although 20 of those came from the bench, and he scored just twice.But, following their relegation from League One, Yeovil have decided to hand him a 12-month contract which will officially begin on July 1.last_img

‘YOU’LL BE HOME IN TIME TO SAY THE ROSARY’ – JUDGE TELLS CURFEW MAN

first_imgA judge has shortened the curfew time of a man charged with public order offences, telling the court he “will be home in time to say his Rosary in bed.”The court heard how Daniel Curran, Middle Dore, Bunbeg had pleaded guilty to offences at Magheraclogher in November 2009. He had been placed on curfew for the past six months and had not come to the attention of Gardai since.Garda Martin Gallagher told the court: “The defendant is struggling to find work and I think that this curfew has woken him up. I feel he has learned his lesson. He is really a decent young lad.”Judge Seamus Hughes said: “I am going to shorten your curfew and allow you to go out on a Saturday night until 3.30am on a Sunday morning. This will give you plenty of time to be back in your bed to say the Rosary.”He adjourned final sentencing until May 10th and said that if Curran stayed out of trouble he could expect a small fine.‘YOU’LL BE HOME IN TIME TO SAY THE ROSARY’ – JUDGE TELLS CURFEW MAN was last modified: February 15th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Time to nominate your Donegal hero for a Person of the Year Award

first_imgActor Aoibhín Garrihy and former winner Milo McCarthy (14) are urging the public to nominate their Donegal heroes for a People of the Year Award before nominations close.The final date for submitting nominations is Friday, December 1st – the last chance for the public to nominate Ireland’s heroes for this year’s Awards.Now in its 43rd year, the awards, which are organised by Rehab Group, will be broadcasted on RTÉ One on Saturday, March 3rd from The Mansion House. At today’s final call in Dublin’s Herbert Park Hotel, Aoibhín and Milo urged the public to nominate their Donegal heroes – family, friends and colleagues – and those ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.Actor Aoibhín Garrihy and former winner Milo McCarthy (14)Aoibhín described the awards as one of the highlights of her social calendar and urged the public to nominate somebody who deserves recognition.Aoibhín added: “I’ve been a huge fan of the show for many years. It’s a great night out, myself and John (husband) always attend the awards and look forward to it every year. We wouldn’t miss it, you meet such incredibly brave people who have done amazing things. It’s such a fantastic national celebration which recognises some truly amazing people across Ireland, from all communities and backgrounds. We all know people who deserve recognition, so I hope people get nominating their heroes.”Milo McCarthy (14) revealed he was stunned when Games of Thrones star Liam Cunningham presented him with the Young Person of the Year Award in 2016. The little hero received the award after he raised nearly €18,000 for Syrian refugees by busking on the streets of Cork City and his hometown of Midleton He added: “It was a total surprise, I had no idea Liam was presenting the award to me. He was very nice and congratulated me when we spoke after the show. I still get spotted in Cork as the guy who busked to raise money for refugees. It’s such a great experience, so I’d urge everybody to nominate their heroes. There is so much negativity in the world, so it’s good to shine a light on all that is good.”It is quick and easy to nominate someone for a People of the Year Award. You can nominate online at www.peopleoftheyear.com or by emailing peopleoftheyear@rehab.ieThe closing date for entries is midnight Friday, December 1st. All the winners are nominated by the Irish public and finalised by a panel of adjudicators. As well as a number of general awards, people can nominate their Young Person of the Year, Sportsperson of the Year, International Person of the Year and the Community Group of the Year.Time to nominate your Donegal hero for a Person of the Year Award was last modified: November 23rd, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:awardsNOMINATIONSpeople of the yearlast_img read more

Broncos 20, Raiders 19: Takeaways from a bad Raiders loss

first_imgClick HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.DENVER — Now that right there will be a tough one to swallow.The Raiders didn’t trail for 59 minutes and 55 seconds yet still lost.Gareon Conley and Leon Hall whiffed on two tackles inside 20 seconds left, allowing the Broncos to enter field goal range before Brandon McManus hit a 36-yard game-winner. The Raiders fall to 0-2 after Sunday’s 20-19 loss, while their division rival Broncos move to 2-0.Here …last_img

Android Update Rollouts Accelerating But Still Painfully Slow

first_imgdan rowinski Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement When it come to 4.0, we are about to hit an inflection point where the majority of new users and many existing users will see Android 4.0 as their default version of the operating system. Almost all new phones from top Android manufacturers are now shipping with either 4.0 or 4.1, and Samsung and HTC have promised the 4.1 upgrade by the end of the year. Motorola even promised during the announcement of its new Droid Razr devices that if an old device was not upgradeable to 4.1, then Motorola would give consumers a $100 credit toward a new Motorola device. The number of Android devices are running 4.0 a year after its release seems absurd, but that is the nature of the Android territory. The first 4.0 devices outside of the Galaxy Nexus were not widely available in the U.S. until April and May 2012, six months after the official release. Most manufacturers were not ready to issue updates to 4.0 for older devices until that time as well.The way Google has managed the announcement of new Android versions and the time it has taken for its manufacturing partners to launch new devices has lagged by four to six months since Android began rising in popularity. The official Google announcement is akin to a soft launch where a product is announced but does not actually hit the market until months down the line. Microsoft is notorious for the soft launch, showing off its newest Windows versions as much as a year ahead of the official release date. Google wants to close the gap between announcement and arrival of new versions of Android for top devices as well as upgrades to existing devices. That it why it announced its so-called platform developer kit at Google I/O in June. The PDK is supposed to help manufacturers create updates earlier and release new smartphones with the new operating system on accelerated timelines.It appears to be working. Since the 4.1 Jelly Bean announcement at Google I/O, manufacturers have announced and began rolling out updates to top devices. Both the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III will receive 4.1 by the end of October. New devices will ship with it, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note II and HTC One X+. As of now, only 1.8% of Android devices are running 4.1. That is primarily due to devices like the Nexus 7 tablet, Galaxy Nexus and Motorola Xoom that have already received the upgrade. It will be interesting to see how quickly 4.1 grows against the sea of devices that will not be upgraded from earlier versions in the coming months. Device upgrades are one of the biggest pain points for Android users, and Google can do only so much to force the manufacturers and carriers to issue timely updates. It looks as though upgrades will come quicker than they have in the past, but the desire to sell more devices with the newest Android version will always outweigh consumers’ pleas for updates for their older devices.  Tags:#Analysis#Android#mobile It has been a little less than a year since Google officially announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The first device to roll out with version 4.0, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, hit store shelves in December. Since then, 4.0 has reached 23.7% of all Android devices – with 4.1, a.k.a. Jelly Bean, waiting in the wings. What is the holdup?Android 4.0’s penetration has been slow, even by Android standards. But if top manufacturers are to be believed, updates for many devices should be available before the end of the year.The problem is that it is difficult to trust the manufacturers. For instance, Motorola said it would upgrade any devices capable of receiving 4.1 Jelly Bean by the end of the year. Throughout its product portfolio, other devices were supposed to receive updates as well, such as smartphones running 2.3 Gingerbread through 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. On Monday, Motorola updated its upgrade list to show that many devices scheduled to receive 4.0, such as the original Atrix, would not be getting new software. Overall, version 2.3 will remain on 13 of Motorola’s 23 smartphones that have been released in the U.S. over the last couple of years. Samsung is notoriously slow in rolling out Android updates and HTC is not much better. The top manufacturers would much rather sell a new smartphone running the latest software than perform extensive (and expensive) updates to phones that already have been bought and paid for. The carriers share some of this blame, as the data for the updates goes over their pipes and they drag their feet right along with the device makers.  What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Slumdog Redux

first_imgHello sir. You know that movie Salaam Bombay? I acted in that movie.”“Yeah that old movie — oh, you were in it?”“I was the main character, sir.” Salaam Bombay’s Shaffiq Syed: “If I could change back the hands of time, I would have never agreed to be part of that movie.”That is a recent exchange in an autorickshaw in Bangalore driven by Shaffiq Syed, the rag-picker kid who shot to instant recognition with Mira Nair’s path-breaking, Oscar-nominated film Salaam Bombay in 1988.Syed had run away from his home in Bangalore to Mumbai, because “all the boys talked about what a big city Mumbai was.” He left home with three friends, but they lost each other on the train as “we kept getting down in various stations to avoid the ticket checker as we were traveling without tickets.”Finally, he reached Mumbai and ended up near Juhu beach. “I had never seen the sea in my entire life. I just got out of my clothes and jumped into the waves. The water was salty. Then I saw a huge building nearby, which was probably a hotel, but I thought it was a salt factory, because of which the sea was so salty.”He was plucked to act in Salaam Bombay and the rest, as they say, is history.But for Syed it is a bitter history: “All the bad things I learned, all the bad deeds I did, were after acting in Salaam Bombay. I was really young then. I still remember that after I got the national award I thought the world belonged to me — that I had arrived to claim my rightful place in mainstream society. I slept with the award under my bed every night, thinking someone would steal it. I went to a lot of producers after that, but no one was willing to give me a chance. I was too naïve to understand that no one helps a child from the roads.” Mira Nair established the Salaam Baalak Trust for the 27 kids who acted in her movie. The trust looked after the wellbeing of the kids, helped them integrate into the mainstream, and tried to prevent them from slipping back into the drudgery of slum life.They had little success with Syed, who found it hard to cope with his life after fame. He changed jobs, thrice attempted suicide, broke into his mother’s house and was jailed. At that point, trust members say, they drew the line and stopped trying to aid Syed, who returned to Bangalore ultimately and now ekes out a living as an autorickshaw driver.“If I could change back the hands of time, I would have never agreed to be part of that movie. You know children are very sensitive. Once you expose them to the good life, they can never adjust back to their old drudgery. I have three children, I would never allow them to act in a movie,” Syed says resolutely.Ever since the movie Slumdog Millionaire grabbed the headlines after winning 10 Oscars in February, Syed has been hunted out by the media. He says, “Everyone forgot me and now suddenly they remember that I am alive. A couple of days back I got a call from Mira Nair. She asked me how I was doing. She did not want to know what I was doing for the last 20 years. So why bother now?”Syed is writing a script based on his life. He says: “This script, if made into a movie will be like no other film. My journey from ignominy to fame and back into ignominy will be a lesson for many.” The trajectory of life for many of the other boys who acted in Salaam Bombay was similar. Many took to petty crimes; two died, one of HIV-Aids and another in an accident. Hansa Vitthal, the only girl in the group of street boys, is married and lives in a Mumbai suburb.Salaam Bombay’s major success story is Raju Bernard, who enacted the character of Keera. Bernard was adopted by the film’s cinematographer Sandi Sissel and went on to live in the U.S. He now works as a camera assistant in Los Angeles, is married and has a child. The journey, however, was not easy for him either.“I made a decision to move to an entirely different world with a woman who looked like no one I had ever had direct contact with, fair skin and blond hair. I knew nothing about America; I did not even speak the language. I only knew that ‘everyone’ said that going to America was great. I was too young to fully grasp and understand the meaning of ‘America is great’ and just how wonderfully my life would change once I reached America,” says Bernard, now known as Bernard Chablis Sissel.Sissel grew fond of the little boy during the shooting of the film. After the shooting wrapped up, she appointed a guardian for Bernard in India and sent money regularly for his education and upkeep. However, she soon realized that the money wasn’t reaching Bernard and invited him to visit her in the U.S. He asked to stay on and Sissel was happy to oblige.Says Bernard of his experience of working with the film: “I was young then and they offered me meals and something different to do everyday. It never felt like work, it felt like playtime to me during the filming and a break from reality. During the filming, I got to spend time with my mother, Sandi. I remember excitedly asking her to take a picture of me holding the slate for the first time. Every now and then when I hold a slate in front of the camera for her, I fondly remember that first time. What I Bernard Chablis Sissel with his biological family in Mumbai: “I think often about my family in India and how I miss them and what poverty they still endure.”remember most is having a sense of purpose and a place to go every day.”Bernard says he doesn’t remember why he was chosen to play Keera. “My mother, Sandi, had said previously that I was quite a character when I was young and often during shooting they would use me to distract the gathering crowds away from the main shooting. It could have been this trait of mine that gave me the opportunity to be in Salaam Bombay.”He has visited his family in Mumbai since with Sissel. His biological family still lives in the slums, although they lead a more dignified life than before. Bernard says he has mixed feelings toward them. “I think often about my family in India and how I miss them and what poverty they still endure. I realize now as an adult the extreme poverty I was living in as a child and am thankful for where my life has taken me and thankful for all those that made it possible for me to choose a better life, especially my mother, Sandi. I now have a family of my own, my wife, Karen, and my 3-year-old daughter, Maya, who will never have to experience what I did as a child.” Born Into Brothels’ Preeti: “I have a flat in one of the most posh area of Kolkata, a laptop, expensive phones, money. What else do I need to be happy?” Bernard’s experience bolsters the argument of child rights activists in India who assert that for full rehabilitation and fruitful integration into mainstream society, children need to be removed from the slum atmosphere. Geeta Venkadakrishnan, founder director of the Kolkata chapter of the Hope Foundation, a non profit organization that works with street kids, says: “For long term rehabilitation, the most important thing is to take the child out of the slum environment. It is not always poverty or a lack of money that ails life in the slums; it is the hazardous environment that is the worst ailment. In order for them to integrate well into mainstream society, they need a good environment. The money should be put in a fixed deposit for them and the child should be put in a residential school.”Salaam Bombay opened up a floodgate of filmmakers making films on street or slum kids or using them in movies or documentaries. Born into Brothels by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski won the 2005 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. The documentary is described on the Kids-With-Camera website as “a tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art. Born into Brothels is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in the   Zulfiquar, (center in white) who acted in Little Terrorist performs in a play. A.K. Tewari, coordinator of Apna Ghar, where Zulfiquar goes to school, says, “When children act in films, post all the recognition and limelight it gets very difficult for them to fall back into their old lives.” red light district of Calcutta, where their mothers work as prostitutes. Zana Briski, a New York-based photographer, gives each of the children a camera and teaches them to look at the world with new eyes.”Nearly 7,000 women and girls work as sex workers in the red light district of Kolkata. In 1997, New York based photographer Briski, on a mission to photograph them, befriended the children of many of the sex workers and began teaching them photography. Subsequently, she and filmmaker Ross Kaufman scripted their stories into the movie Born into Brothels. Kids with Cameras was founded by Briski in 2002 to raise money and awareness for the children through the sale and exhibition of their work.Ross Kauffman said in a live chat on the internet: “None of the kids are in the line and they are all doing well. Through the sales of their photography, the kids have earned over $100,000 which goes directly towards their education…. I am so proud of the kids. They are incredible.”Two of the eight children featured in the film came to the U.S. for study, helped by a charity financed by the film’s proceeds. Sadly, one of the girls, then in her teens, fell back into the darkness that the film was hoping to deliver her from. The girl, Pooja, who now calls herself Preeti, was rescued from Sonagachi when she was a minor and housed in a juvenile welfare home where she stayed until February 2006. After her release she returned to the trade and is a sex worker now.She says, “I came back here on my own will.” Dressed in hip clothes, she totes a hi-tech mobile phone and sports a lot of attitude. When a reporter tried to talk to her about her stint with the Oscars, she initially was reticent, but ultimately opened up, saying, “It was a fairy tale.” She’s 20 now, but doesn’t regret her life. “I have a flat in one of the most posh area of Kolkata, a laptop, expensive phones, money. What else do I need to be happy?” she said dismissively. Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail, of Slumdog Millionaire fame, on the Wills India Fashion Week ramp in March. Rubina’s father is fending of allegations that he tried to sell his daughter for $260,000. An update on the kids posted on the film’s official website shows that one of the boys, Avijit Halder, who was associated with Born into Brothels went to the U.S. three years ago for study. He is currently finishing his senior year at a private high school. Over the past two summers, he has participated in prestigious film programs at the Sundance Institute and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He plans to attend a U.S. university this fall, studying medicine and film.It has been a long journey for Halder. From the little and shy son of a sex worker in Kolkata, he is now amidst American teenagers. The little boy who was afraid to dream, found his calling in painting and drawing. He has entered his work in international competitions and won the Cultural Diversity Award at the 2006 Pura Inspiracion Film Contest at the Tucson Film Festival for his documentary Culture. He has built an international network of friends and mentors and bares his life, dreams and aspirations on a social networking site. In the lingo of an American teenager he speaks of his inner conflicts. He calls his profile picture, “Spilt personality” and raves about Kolkata as the “dee best” hometown. He writes: “Altho my life sux..I consider myself 2 b lucky.. anyways I m indian n dats all just an ordinary person…who loves eatin, laughing..sometimes painting n photography n hate schools a lot….All my friends r cool.” In his podcast “Beyond Brothels,” he says, “I wish I still had that life. With my friends.” Avijit Halder, who worked in Born into Brothels has produced another award winning film Cultures. Photo: Ken SteinMost of the other children in Born into Brothels are attending school through the help of Kids with Cameras, which also supports their friends and siblings through sponsorships at Sabera and FutureHope, two non governmental organizations in Kolkata who work with children.As for the children who acted in Slumdog Millionaire, life has done a double flip for little Rubina Ali, 9, and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10, who captured American hearts as they were trotted to the Oscar Awards ceremony in February. According to media reports, Rubina’s house has been fitted with hi-tech gadgets, including a 32-inch LCD screen. In an official statement, the movie’s producers said they are looking to buy both children apartments near their old slum, whose ownership will rest in a trust until they complete their education and turn 18. The clause was included to prevent the adults from selling their flats. The producers have also arranged for a rickshaw to take the children to a non profit English medium school.The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority has gifted two apartments for the children to felicitate their achievements. The producers say they are working with local social workers to ensure that the children get a decent education and a better life. However, soon after the kids come into money, relatives and publicity hounds began crawling out of the woodwork. Rubina’s biological mother Khurshid Begum surfaced to claim the child (and her fame and money) she had abandoned. She is now fighting a custody battle with Rubina’s stepmother who brought her up. Indian police are currently investigating a report in a British tabloid News of the World accusing her father Rafiq Qureshi of offering to sell her for $260,000 to a fake sheik.Sanjoy Roy, founder of the Salaam Baalak Trust, says: “The most important thing is that there needs to be a comprehensive plan for their long term rehabilitation. Such a plan might include provisions for career choices, a mentor for guiding them through the ups and downs of life and even counseling to cope with sudden fame and then maybe anonymity. It is also important that the money that is being raised in the name of the children be put in a fixed deposit for them so that they don’t need to be dependant on any trust or any individual.” The Salaam Baalak Trust has under its care, Zulfiquar, the small boy who played the role of Salim, in the short film the Little Terrorist, directed, written and produced by Ashvin Kumar, which was nominated for the 2004 Academy Award for Live Action Short Film. The movie revolves around Jamal (played by Salim), a 10 year old Pakistani Muslim boy. Zulfiquar was a street child who was handpicked for the movie. He now lives under the care of the Salaam Balak Trust, where he attends school.A.K. Tiwari, coordinator of the home, Apna Ghar, where Zulfiquar lives says, “We have a lot of theater workshops at our homes. The filmmaker saw Zulfiquar in one such workshop and cast him as Salim. It was a documentary and he was paid Rs 5,000 for it. We opened an account for him with that money. Later on he acted in another film, directed by the same filmmaker, and he was paid Rs 1 lakh then. We put all the money in a fixed deposit for him.”Zulfiquar is in 10th grade now, but has become indifferent toward his studies. Tiwari says: “When children act in filmspost all the recognition and limelight it gets very difficult for them to fall back into their old lives. With Zulfiquar, he started thinking he was a big film star. Before he acted in the movies his grades in school were really good. However, afterwards they started slipping. He is more interested in films and dance now. We had to counsel him a lot to make him come to his senses and finish his studies. We made it clear to him that he has to finish his education first.”That is an issue also confronting the star of another movie that created waves with Slumdog Millionaire at this year’s Oscars, Smile Pinki, the story of a young girl Pinki whose life was transformed by cleft surgery, which won the Oscar in the short documentary feature category. Satish Kalra, regional director for South Asia for Smile Train, the international charity which offers free cleft surgery to children such as Pinki, said: “Smile Pinki will hopefully raise awareness on the global problem of cleft lip and cleft palate. We cannot support her education as Smile Train only provides a level playing field to these children. We hope somebody comes forward and supports Pinki’s education.”Pinki has found a mentor in Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh, the doctor who performed the surgery on her and accompanied her to the Oscars. He complains that often people promise support to Pinki just for the publicity. He cited media reports that Pinki would be getting education free for life, but Singh says, he isn’t aware of any such commitments. The Indore Medical School has promised free medical education for Pinki, but Singh says: “She is only in the second standard. The most important thing for her now is to complete her primary and secondary education. Only then we can think of her further education. As of now I am bearing the cost of her education and I will continue to do so.”Since her surgery, Pinki is happy and engaged at her school, where earlier she was ostracized. An intelligent girl, she is especially proud of her books, which have been gifted to her by the scores. She has turned her collection of fiction and non-fiction books into a library in her village, issuing them out to people who want to borrow them. Singh says: “Education is the only way forward. Given a level playing field, Pinki will go far in life.”Pinki’s exposure to the world has also proved beneficial for her village, Rampur Dhavaia in Uttar Pradesh. The U.P. government has gifted her a new house and announced plans to develop her village as a “model village.”The success of Slumdog Millionaire propelled the problem of slum and street children in India to international attention. The Indian government is proposing the establishment of a National Commission for Children to promote the welfare and rights of children. The young stars of Slumdog Millionaire feted at Universal Studios Hollywood in February. However, Roy says, it will take time for major changes to take effect. “In villages in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the South there is a huge improvement in rolling out education where the Panchayats have been made responsible for the local school system, appointing teachers, and so on. Sure some schools are still rudimentary, but in states with bad governance like Bihar, UP, Bengal, etc., this has yet to set in.”For children thrust into the public vortex through movies, the psychological effects of their 15 minutes of fame can be both uplifting and devastating. Sissel recalls it took years for Bernard to recognize that survival was no longer his problem. “He was, oh, so brave to take such a big step with a Western woman. He is still saving himself.”Children rights activists say that the money showered on the children is inevitably frittered away. Long term rehabilitation alone can ensure that the children do not slip back into their old lives. They say the children require counseling to come to terms with their sudden fame and equally sudden ignominy; that the money they earn should be put in a trust for their education and career goals and most importantly they should be taken out of the slum environment so they grow up with regular kids.Geeta Venkadakrishnan, director of the Kolkata chapter of Hope Foundation says, “I am sure very soon the little girl from Slumdog Millionaire will be offered endorsements or a role in some movie or serial. However, that is not the solution. We need to first take care of their education and then other things. Without education it will not be long before she (Rubina) sinks back to the drudgery she came from.”Slumdog Millionaire’s story about slum kids touched the hearts of cinemagoers worldwide. It propelled its child stars to instant stardom. The Mumbai slum children Rubina, in a gown, and Azhar, dapper in a tuxedo, walked the Red Carpet and were feted in five star hotels in the United States at this year’s Oscars.On their return to India, both the children complained of the heat and mosquitoes. Those will be the least of their problems in the roller coaster life ahead. Related Itemslast_img read more