Slumdog Millionaire: Life Imitates Art

The Real Slumdog Millionnaire

The Real Slumdog Millionnaire

You can call it what you like, but three years after Danny Boyle’s international hit, Slumdog Millionnaire, was released a real slumdog  millionaire has been created. The movie gained global recognition and was awarded Best Picture at the Oscars. The story followed a boy who got a place on the TV show and ended up winning a huge amount of money, no one would have been interested but it was his background growing up in one of the biggest slums in the world and winning against all odds that captured the imagination.

Sushil Kumar

In the real world a 27-year-old man from one of the poorest states in India has lived out the story told in the movie. On the Indian version of ITV’s ‘Who Wants To Be A millionaire?’ Sushil Kumar won Rs50 million rupees, which is $1 million. This would have gone somewhat unnoticed if it wasn’t for the fact that he earns approximately $5 per day in his job.

His victory is inspirational especially for a country which is seeing bigger gaps growing between the rich and the poor. But it highlights what a person would do with so much wealth, and the problems it will bring especially when living in a nation in which is largely impoverished.

India has been one of the world’s powerhouses with huge potential growth prospects and huge wealth due to its population which is made up of many more of the younger generation. However there is a darker side to the country, a part that is severely poor compared with sub-Saharan Africa. Where people have an annual income of just $1,000, Kumar falls into this category making $1,460 per year.

Since his win on the show he has become the most popular person with Indian media, more than film stars, musicians or its sporting heroes. This is partly due with the link his story has with a film made on a very similar plot.

Getting a new job

Let’s look at the reality of what he has won. After tax he will receive $712,600, not a small amount of money at all, it would take Kumar the best part of 500 years to earn this amount of money.

However, in light of all the problems that he could be exposed too with a criminal underbelly which is strong in poorer parts of India, Kumar looks like he may use his money wisely. He has said that he will use his winnings to repay loans, build his large family a new home, and prepare for civil service exams in the hope of getting a new job.

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