Budhia Singh – Born To Run Official Trailer starring Manoj Bajpayee

  1. Author
    sputnik 6 years ago

    I am not sure if making him run marathons at age 5 was a good idea but looks like usual Indian politics is going on by not letting him run marathons now. When he is interested in running marathons they are making him sprint. And giving stupid excuses of Indian body and saying he should start running marathons after age 20.


    The Loneliness of Long Distance Runner – Budhia Singh

    He was a four-year-old for whom impossible was nothing. With his coach cheering him on, he ran from Puri to Bhubaneswar. Ten years on, where is Budhia Singh?

    Ten years ago, under a hot May sun, a four-year-old child put on a pair of keds and started running from the temple town of Puri to Bhubaneswar. Cheered on by his coach Biranchi Das, several CRPF jawans as well as hundreds of passersby, Budhia Singh ran almost a marathon and a half — 65 km being the distance between Puri and Bhubaneswar — in seven hours and two minutes. At the end of the run, he did not seem too tired, except that he threw up after sipping a cola.

    A few weeks ago, sitting in his cramped rented home in Saliasahi bustee, the biggest slum of Bhubaneswar, Budhia, now a lanky teenager of 14, frets over the heat. He has come home to meet his mother Sukanti, after taking leave from the sports hostel at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga stadium, where he has been living for the last nine years. “Today seems to be particularly hot, no?” he exclaims. “I feel stifled.”

    The late judo coach Biranchi Das entered Budhia’s life when the child’s mother, Sukanti Das, sold him to a street hawker for Rs 800. When her mason husband died in 2001, Sukanti took to washing dishes to feed her three daughters and Budhia. But she never made enough. When Biranchi, who was president of the Saliasahi Slumdwellers’ Association, got to know about Budhia, he was furious and “bought” the child back from the hawker by paying Rs 800. In a sudden spurt of magnanimity, he claimed that he had “adopted” the child. Sukanti agreed, though there is no record of the adoption.
    Biranchi accidentally discovered the child’s talent when he once asked Budhia to start running laps as punishment for his use of slang words. When Biranchi returned hours later, Budhia was still running.

    The marathon led many to tout the child as a prodigy and India’s future hope for Olympics. It also brought Budhia instant celebrityhood. A local TV channel nominated him for their “Priya Odia” (favourite Odia) contest while others invited him to inaugurate shops, attend youth meets, unveil music videos and collect awards.

    Sponsorships and scholarships piled up till the state government, advised by the Khurda district child welfare committee, banned his marathons. He was too young. “If Budhia is allowed to run marathons, there may be an early onset of osteoarthritis, which may cripple him in future…The wunderkid may become a subject of burnout syndrome,” the state government submitted before the Odisha High Court after the child’s coach challenged the ban.

    Budhia was admitted to a SAI sports hostel in September 2007. In April 2008, Biranchi was shot dead by two gunmen sent by a local gangster over past enmity, ending the child’s tryst with success.
    Ten years later, Budhia is a restless teenager. Early this month, Odisha-born filmmaker Soumendra Padhi’s debut movie Duronto, based on the child prodigy, won the National Award for Best Children’s Film. Budhia is yet to watch the film, but he is not excited about anyone making a movie on his life.

    When he was with his coach, who dreamt of taking him to the Olympics, Budhia would run for at least six hours a day. His diet was rich and varied: goat liver, mutton and chicken. In the evening, Das would take him out on his two-wheeler and treat him to tandoori chicken, orange juice and egg rolls. “I was treated with so much care by Biranchi sir. He took care of me like his own son,” says Budhia.

    To Budhia all that happened between May 2006 and September 2007 is a blur. “I was too young to understand anything. I don’t remember much. Sir (Biranchi) was good to me and treated me well. He asked me to run and I ran,” says Budhia.

    The state government has been paying for his education, clothes, food and stay at the sports hostel, but Budhia misses the freedom that his coach gave him. “All that I am getting to run is 1500 metres. I am being told to improve my speed by my coach, but I don’t know how far it would help me. I don’t like running sprint events, but that’s what I am being asked to run,” says Budhia, who has been promoted to Class IX in the city’s DAV English medium school.

    In the hostel, Budhia lags behind other students in sprint events. “Hostel life is so regimented that I hardly get time to practice,” says Budhia. All he wants to do is get back to long-distance running. “I believe I am born to run marathons. Even now, I can run for more hours without being tired. I am neither getting the required coaching nor the food. I get just about 3-4 pieces of chicken while I was being fed more by Biranchi sir when I was four years old. I feel like I am in a jail,” says Budhia.

    His coach at the hostel, Rupanita Panda, says she has been barred by the state government from saying anything on him. Noted sports journalist Sambit Mohapatra, who has followed Budhia since 2006, says the child’s potential may have been wasted. “He was not a regular sports talent. He needed specialised coaching, food and care which is never possible in a sports hostel with 140-plus boys,” he says.

    All is, however, not lost for the child. Coach Surender Singh Bhandari, who has mentored athletes Nitendra Singh Rawat, Kheta Ram and T Gopi, who have all qualified for the marathon event of the Rio 2016 Olympics, believes Budhia needs to wait it out. “He’s too young for marathons. Of course, world over you get marathon champions at 18-19, but you need to consider the Indian body structure, particularly the bone density. The Indian body develops later compared to foreigners, roughly by 18. But to focus on marathon running, which has a lot of strain, the ideal age is to start after 20. Marathon running puts a lot of pressure on the body. Budhia did that when he was four by running the distances he did. They were remarkable feats, but his body would definitely be carrying some injuries that would act up if he continued. If he starts marathons again now, by 20-21, his body will be exhausted and injury-prone. His career will not last long,” says Bhandari. The ideal thing is to stick to middle distances so he is in touch with running, and he can build up his body, speed and stamina.

    For Budhia, a child who began his athletic life with a bang, and now waits for another father-figure to inspire him, however, it is a long, frustrating wait for a fairytale to come true. He says he still misses Biranchi, who nurtured him. “I am not cut out for studies. I only know how to run,” he says.


  2. aryan 6 years ago

    Born To Run Anthem Song

  3. aryan 6 years ago

    Sunapua..Thu Daud Daud Song

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