Wonder kid Budhia Singh, who at the age of four, ran 65 km between Puri and Bhubaneswar in 2006 and became a national talking point, seems to have gone missing from Bhubaneswar’s Sports Authority of India (SAI) hostel. The child prodigy who took the world with surprise with his sprinting skills is clearly not in a very good shape. Now a student of Class IX in the Bhuvaneshwar’s DAV English Medium School was supposed to return to the SAI hostel at the end of the summer vacation last month, but there is no word on his whereabouts, from either him or his family.
The marathon prodigy was admitted to the SAI hostel in September 2007 after the Odisha government, acting on the advice of Khurda District Child Welfare Committee, banned him from running marathon, as the committee felt that it would be a pressure on a child and would ultimately lead to growth retardation for the child. Thought his late coach, Biranchi Das, however was eager to see him run the marathon at the Olympics but at the SAI hostel, where Budhia currently stays is sponsored by the state government.
The news Budhia’s personal life has come at a time when a movie on his life is all set to release soon. Budhia Singh – Born To Run is based on the relationship between Budhia and his judo coach Biranchi Das, played by Manoj Bajpayee. Das rescued the little boy from one of Bhubaneswar’s notorious slums, discovered his talent and helped him achieve incredible heights. Unfortunately, Das was shot dead in Bhubaneshwar in April 2008. A child actor Mayur Patole, hailing from Pune based Parvati slums will be playing the role of Budhia.
It is interesting to note that at a time when there is turmoil in the life of Budhia, there is a movie on him. The filmmakers can perhaps help the real person too. Considering that India doesn’t have too many options for budding sportsperson in smaller cities, who knows if Budhia is not physically and mentally not ready to take challenges.