Monday, September 19, 2005


Jan McGirk, in The Independent, 19 September 2005, wrote about three and a half year old slum boy Budhia Singh.

Budhia wandered on to a sports ground and got into trouble.

The local coach punished him by ordering him to run laps around the track.

Five hours later 'the boy was still running'.

"I was stunned to find him still running," said Biranchi Das.

On 18 September 'Budhia ran for 36 miles, starting at the Jagannath temple in Puri, dodging buses and cattle carts on the highway to reach the state capital at Bhubaneshwar in just over seven hours'.

Budhia is the only son of a widowed dishwasher.

Budhia was sold last year for 800 rupees (£10).

According to The Independent:

'None of his three sisters could fetch anywhere near this sum, and high-spirited Budhia was set to become an indentured servant. Such desperate survival measures are common in the poor towns of eastern India.'

"I could not provide him with bread and butter and so I sold him .

According to the BBC, Mr Das, also the president of the residents' association of the run-down area where Budhia used to live, summoned the man who had bought Budhia and paid him his 800 rupees back.

The Independent reported:

After that, Sir [Biranchi Das] brought my son back," Budhia's mother, Sukanti Singh, told reporters after her son's run. "Now, I want him to become a big man. I could not do anything for him due to my poverty. So, I want his success," she said with pride.

Mr Das said: "He has the rare potential to become a marathon runner and compete in a future Olympics if properly guided."

"I wake up early in the morning, finish my daily chores and start running. I don't feel the pain when I run. I enjoy it," Bushia said yesterday. "I will run when I grow up," he added.


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