Charities ride Slumdog wave

Surge in donations for organisations working with street children in India

Charities working with street children in India have seen a surge in interest from new donors after the success of Slumdog Millionaire.

The film, which tells the story of a boy from the slums who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, won eight Academy Awards this week.

Terina Keene, chief executive of street children's charity Railway Children, said the charity had been inundated with calls.

"The phone doesn't stop ringing," she said. "In the past three days more than 1,500 people have visited our website. There are normally about 150 visitors per day."

In response to the film's success, the charity has placed an advert on internet search engine Google for the first time, she said.

Keene also said Slumdog actor Dev Patel and director Danny Boyle were in talks to appear on the English version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? to raise funds for Railway Children.

Orphan charity SOS Children's Villages also said it had attracted new donors since the film was released.

Andrew Cates, chief executive of the charity, said: "Raising the issue of street children is an enormous benefit to us. Since Slumdog Millionaire, we've attracted more sponsorships for India than we usually do."

Save the Children said it had also benefited from Slumdog's success. A spokeswoman said: "People have been talking about the issues the film raises and then signing up as donors."

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