Lindsay lands in child saviour storm

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 13.12.09
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New Delhi, Dec. 12: She came, she saw, she conquered — the problem is, Lindsay Lohan seems to have done it all in reverse.

The 23-year-old Hollywood actress claimed to have “saved” 40 child labourers in Delhi “within one day’s work”, but now an NGO says Lohan wasn’t even in India when the children were rescued.

On Wednesday, hours after arriving in India, Lohan had tweeted boastfully: “Over 40 children saved so far...... Within one day’s work...... This is what life is about..... Doing THIS is a life worth living!!!”

But the children were rescued on Tuesday, says Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which helped police plan and carry out the raids on the sweatshops where the children, some as young as seven, were making mirrored ornaments for export.

“It’s technically wrong, ethically wrong and legally wrong to say she saved 40 children in one day. We are talking to our lawyers and will soon decide what legal steps we can consider,” said Bhuwan, a lawyer working with the Andolan.

Bhuwan and Rakesh Sainger, Andolan national secretary, said they had never set eyes on the actress. “Who is Lohan? Lindsay, you say? I don’t know anyone by that name. We don’t know anything about the children she claims she has saved,” Sainger said.

Lohan was in the country to help film a BBC documentary on child trafficking where she is the presenter. The actress, known for her wild partying ways, is apparently fed up with her image and has said she wants to “help people” and do serious films.

Referring to her alleged Delhi exploits, Lohan wrote on Twitter: “Focusing on celebrities and lies is so disconcerting, when we can be changing the world one child at a time.... hope everyone can see that.”

Bhuwan said the actress’s claims were “dangerous” because they made light of the months of preparation behind the raids.

“She seems to imply that any celebrity flying into India can rescue 40 children in a day. That’s ridiculous. It takes months of planning and co-ordination to initiate that kind of operation. This is like negating the months of hard work and difficulties that we face on a daily basis,” Bhuwan said.

A BBC spokesman claimed Lohan had been misinterpreted. He said: “She did not say she was present at the raid… she was merely referring to a raid that happened connected to child trafficking — the subject of the (BBC) programme.”

Andolan sources said that on Wednesday, Lohan and her BBC Three film crew had visited the government rehabilitation centre where the rescued children were taken before being returned to their families.

Lohan has been tweeting on and is full of praise for the Andolan.

“The BBA does amazing work and I thank them for it!” she tweeted yesterday morning. Half an hour later, she wrote: “Sorry, BBA stands for bachpan bachao andolan —which should inspire us all due to their excellent work.”