Though familiar with the songs from 'Boot Polish', I always thought that it was a remake of Shoeshine. Apparently not according to this 1958 review from Time magazine:
"Boot Polish (R. D. Purie; Hoffberg),the first Indian-made film to be released generally in the U.S., has drawn quick comparison to Shoeshine, Vittorio De Ska's 1947 Italian classic. The comparison, apparently based on the similarity of titles, is unfortunate. The two films move in opposite directions—Shoeshine despairingly toward the lower depths, Boot Polish wistfully toward the light. More importantly, their coupling might becloud the fact that Boot Polish is a nearly flawless little gem of a fable that glows with its own brilliance, without need of outside illumination.
Director Raj Kapoor's hero and heroine are two orphaned children, living with their sadistic prostitute aunt in the slums of Bombay. At her command, they spend their days in the streets and trams of the city, begging money in a squeaky singsong chant. But an old, kindly bootlegger urges them to the slum child's equivalent of the higher life: "You have been given two hands to work with. Start with small things first, and bigger things later."
The two children hide pennies from their aunt until they have saved enough to buy a pair of brushes and three cans of shoe polish. For a short while they prosper, but with the coming of the rains their customers lose interest in shoeshines. Close to starvation, the boy and his sister are accidentally separated; from there the film wanders to an ending that, for all its melodramatic sentimentality, fits perfectly into the picture's curious blend of gutter reality and fairy-tale dreaminess.
The two children. Rattan Kumar and Baby Naaz, flash from delight to fear to solemn determination with startling virtuosity. From her scrawny, seven-year-old frame, Actress Naaz somehow sums up the whole history of her sex, chattering happily as she works with her brother, huddling against him for warmth, patting his arm in a crisis and reassuring him, "I'll manage it somehow." Raj Kapoor trains his camera on them almost without a break, and they have rewarded him by endowing his film with the gentle luster of a miniature masterpiece."
A more recent (2002) review by Howard Schumann here towards the end of the article. Excerpt:
"Some may dismiss the picture as melodrama, but I find it a life-affirming and rich cinematic experience. The love of the children for each other is very real, and their struggle for survival and social respectability is profoundly touching. Filled with positive energy and the "heroic face of innocence," Boot Polish is now more than ever one of my all time favorite films."
There are many popular songs from the film including this unusual song Lapak Jhapak by Manna Dey.
Here is a different version of Lapak Jhapak without the video. We played the first version last night and it rained.