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'Badar Azim may leave for London again'
Thursday August 1, 2013 8:36 PM, IANS

Badar Azim, the royal footman from Kolkata who helped announce the birth of British Prince George, may leave the city for London once Ramadan ends, his uncle said Thursday, indicating that Azim was also open to working in India.

"If he gets good options in India, he will consider them. It will be good if our kid stays back but then it is up to him," Mohd. Shameem, uncle of the 25-year-old Kolkata man who has studied in Britain, told IANS.

Shameem evaded a question as to whether his nephew was looking for a job at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.

"Badar has been in the city since the last four days as his visa expired. He was studying as well as working in London," said Shameem.

Azim, a hospitality management degree holder, helped mount outside Buckingham Palace in London the official announcement of the prince's birth.

His father Mohammed Rahim, 52, a welder, and mother Mumtaz Begum, 41, still live in the same slum in Kolkata's Beniapukur area where he spent his childhood.

The slum called Phoolbagan basti houses the shoe-making industry in the city and four floors above a clutch of shoe-makers in the crowded Ismail Street lives Azim, whose education in Britain was sponsored by an orphanage.

As one walks down the narrow street festooned with dangling electrical wires, and lined with grocer and butcher shops, It is hard to believe that a man from the decrepit area made it all the way to London.

Their two-room home is shared by nine members of their extended family who are reluctant to talk to outsiders because of "strict instructions" from London.

"He received a mail last night from London ordering him to not face cameras and give interviews following a telecast by a media channel," said the family's close friend Mohd. Rabbani, adding that the family had requested him to direct the mediapersons away from Azim's house.

"The family is extremely hurt and angry because some media reports have stated that he grew up on the streets and is an orphan. He was a very good student as a kid and now he has made us proud," said Rabbani.

He said Azim will go back to London and will not stay back.

"He will go back after Ramadan is over. Why will he stay back in India when he can work for the British royal family," Rabbani told IANS.

Azim was taken in by the charitable St Mary's Orphanage and Day School run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers of Ireland. The orphanage later sponsored Azim to go to the International Institute of Hotel Management College in Kolkata, where he took a degree in hospitality management.

After he had completed his first two years at the institute, the orphanage flew Azim to Scotland, where he completed his degree at Edinburgh's Napier University.

He graduated in June 2011 and landed a job as a junior footman at Buckingham Palace in February 2012. "The conditions I live in now are so different from how I lived in India," Badar had earlier said in London.

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