Shafiq Syed

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Shafiq Syed (born 1976) is a former Indian child actor turned auto rickshaw driver. At the age of twelve, he starred in a lead role in the Mira Nair's Academy Award-nominated film Salaam Bombay! (1988), for which he also received the 1989 National Film Award for Best Child Artist at the 36th National Film Awards.[1] He drives an auto rickshaw in Bangalore and also works as an assistant in television production units.

Syed grew up in Bangalore slums, before running away to Bombay (now Mumbai) with some friends, “just to see if what we saw in Hindi movies (Bollywood) were right”. In the following years, he lived as one of the street children living on the pavements near Churchgate railway station.[2][3]

After doing one more film, Patang (1994) directed by Goutam Ghose, he shifted to Bangalore in 1993. In 2009, after the success of Slumdog Millionaire , also known for its child actors, he was spotted as autorickshaw driver in Bangalore and interviewed by The Times of India.[4] Thereafter, in May 2012, he was working as an assistant in production companies making Kannada television soaps. It was reported that Syed had written his life's story, running into 180 pages. "I have...titled it After Salaam Bombay" he said. "Hope someone will take it up for production".[2]

He is married and lives in a Bangalore suburb, 30 km from the main city, with his wife, mother and three sons and a daughter.[2][5]


  1. ^ "36th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c K.M. Rakesh (May 1, 2012). "Salaam Bombay tea boy to TV help". The Telegraph (Kolkata). Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  3. ^ "Salaam Bombay actor Shafiq Syed lands in hard times". India Today. March 1, 1999. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  4. ^ Seethalakshmi S. (March 5, 2009). "'Salaam' star now a rickshaw driver". The Times of India. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  5. ^ Aishhwariya Subramanian (14 March 2013). "Salaam Bombay actor learns life's lesson". Daily News & Analysis. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 

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