|Native name||बुधिया सिंह (Hindi)|
|Born||2002 (age 12–13)
Budhia Awooga Singh was born in 2002 to a poor family. His family couldn't provide for him, so in 2004, his mother sold him to a traveling salesman for 800. The salesman to whom she sold him treated the boy very badly. Soon the mother sought out Biranchi Das, a local judo coach and orphanage operator, and asked him to take the boy on. Biranchi paid back the salesman the 800 and Budhia came to live with Biranchi Das and the rest of the orphans under Biranchi's charge, at the local Judo Hall. One day, Biranchi Das caught him being a "saucy lad". He punished him by making him run, but then forgot about him; he returned after five hours and Budhia was still running. After medical check up his heart was found to be normal even after running for hours. He then began to train Budhia to run marathons. By the age of four, Budhia had run and completed 48 marathons.
Career and controversy
Budhia's running ability has led to celebrity status and he has appeared in a number of television commercials. These commercials and Budhia's fame allegedly led to significant financial gains on the part of the late Mr. Biranchi Das, Budhia's coach, which led to accusations of exploitation against Mr. Das, and an official inquiry by Indian child welfare officials was launched on 4 January 2006; however, Mr. Das refuted the allegations.
A feature-length documentary called Marathon Boy was released in 2011 covering Budhia and Das for five years starting in 2006. The documentary was funded by HBO & BBC Storyville. In the film, Budhia makes a withdrawal of his accusations against Das. The film Marathon Boy (2011) was nominated for an EMMY.
Murder of Biranchi Das
Biranchi Das was shot dead at Bhubaneswar on the evening of 13 April 2008. According to police, "Das, a judo coach, was sitting inside the judo centre in BJB College area along with some of his friends after a training session when the assailants struck". Although Biranchi had many sympathizers he had also lots of opponents, however the murder of Biranchi had nothing to do with the difficulties he had to make Budhia Singh run long distances. Biranchi was murdered after he upset Raja Acharya by reportedly trying to defend the model Leslie Tripathy, who was allegedly being harassed by the gangster Raja. The murder of Biranchi shocked the whole nation, during the search of the murderers (Raja and Chagala) it became clear that Raja had murdered more than 60 people before and bribed hundreds of officers and administrators during his criminal career.
On 13 December 2010 Bhubaneswar fast track court found the murderers guilty, and final sentence was passed on 17 December 2010. Both Sandeep Acharya, alias Raja, and his associate, Akhaya Behera, alias Chagala, were sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment.
- "Boy who ran marathons at 3 still worries filmmaker". CNN. 2011-11-03.
- . Calcutta, India http://www.telegraphindia.com/1101014/jsp/nation/story_1331345.jsp. Retrieved 2013-02-24. Missing or empty
- "Boy who ran marathons at 3 still worries filmmaker – This Just In — CNN.com Blogs". News.blogs.cnn.com. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
- Sahu, Sandeep (2006-01-04). "Inquiry into marathon boy's coach". BBC.
- Marathon Boy - HBO
- "Biranchi Das: A sad end". Merinews. 200/-04-14. Check date values in:
- "Gangster Raja Acharya convicted in Biranchi Murder Case". Breaking News Online. 2010-12-14.
- Bal, Sandip; Mishra, Ashutosh (2010-12-18). "Coach murder duo get life". Calcutta, India: Telegraph India.