The child residents of the poorest slums in Mumbai, India, will be helped by a £500,000 donation from the makers of Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.

The Danny Boyle film -which won eight Academy awards - cast a spotlight on poverty in the booming Indian city and its success has seen an increase in Western sponsorship of Indian children.

And after two of Slumdog Millionaire's child stars were moved out of the slums and given new homes, Boyle has now confirmed a new initiative to help poor children in Mumbai,

"Having benefited so much from the hospitality of the people of Mumbai it is only right that some of the success of the movie be ploughed back into the city in areas where it is needed most and where it can make a real difference to some lives," the director explained.

"Despite intimidating odds, extraordinary work is going on to help people break the cycle of poverty through education. We're delighted that this initiative will add to that ongoing work."

Charitable organisation Plan will orchestrate a five-year project which will include hygiene training and education programmes.

"Around one billion of the world's population live in slums and there are 100,000 new slum dwellers every day," said the charity's spokeswoman Marie Stanton.

"Slumdog Millionaire has shown audiences around the world a snapshot of what life is like for one in six people on the planet."

16/04/2009 16:37:17