Budhia Singh

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Budhia Singh
Personal information
Native name ବୁଦ୍ଧିଆ ସିଂ(Odia)
Nationality Indian
Born 2002 (age 13–14)
Bhubaneswar, Khurdha District, Odisha
Sport Marathon

Budhia Awooga Singh (born 2002)[1]) is an Indian boy[2] and the world's youngest marathon runner.Budhia Singh was born in the state of Odisha. He ran from Puri to Bhubaneswar at the age of four covering 65 kilometres (40 mi) in seven hours and two minutes [3] and was listed as the world's youngest marathon runner in the Limca book of records in the year 2006.[4]

As of February 2016, Budhia Singh, now 14, remains a legend in his home state of Odisha, India.[5]

Early life[edit]

Singh was born in 2002 to a family in Odisha. His father died in his early age. Because of poverty Singh's mother sold him to a traveling salesman for 800 in 2004. Because of the ill-treatment thereafter, his mother sought out Biranchi Das, a local judo coach and orphanage operator, and asked him to take the boy on.[6] 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".[7] 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 50 marathons.[8]

Career and controversy[edit]

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.[9]

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.[10] The film Marathon Boy (2011) was nominated for an EMMY.

By 2015, Budhia, now 13, was just like any other 150-odd children at the Kalinga stadium hostel in Bhubaneswar. He doesn’t run for kilometres anymore. Hours of rigorous session has reduced to 1–2 hours of conditional training per day. "He cannot even win his school race these days. Budhia used to run for kilometres. But his coach never tested his ability with other sprinters before he was shoved into the sports hostel… His future doesn’t look promising," opines Sambit Mohapatra, a veteran sports journalist.[11] Despite this, Singh himself has stated he would like to one day represent India at the Olympics in men's marathon.

Murder of Biranchi Das[edit]

Biranchi Das was shot dead at BJB College area, 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".[12] 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.[13] 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, Akshya Behera, alias Chagala, were sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment.[14]

Popular Culture[edit]


  1. ^ "Boy who ran marathons at 3 still worries filmmaker". CNN. 2011-11-03. 
  2. ^ "What happened to Budhia Singh, India's marathon boy?". Gemma Atwal. BBC. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Sahu, Diana (1 March 2015). "Budia Biopic: On a Fast Track". New Indian Express. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Budhia runs into record books". Rediff.com. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Wonder Boy". 
  6. ^ Sahu, Sandeep. "India's marathon boy, aged three". BBC News. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  7. ^ . Calcutta, India http://www.telegraphindia.com/1101014/jsp/nation/story_1331345.jsp. Retrieved 2013-02-24.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ Sahu, Sandeep (2006-01-04). "Inquiry into marathon boy's coach". BBC. 
  10. ^ Marathon Boy - HBO
  11. ^ "Budhia Singh: The Marathon Boy lost in the streets of Odisha". 
  12. ^ "Biranchi Das: A sad end". Merinews. 2008-04-14. 
  13. ^ "Gangster Raja Acharya convicted in Biranchi Murder Case". Breaking News Online. 2010-12-14. 
  14. ^ Bal, Sandip; Mishra, Ashutosh (2010-12-18). "Coach murder duo get life". Calcutta, India: Telegraph India. 

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