Amsterdam, / Delhi
Born to Run
Biranchi Das ran a judo school for orphans in Odisha, India. One four-year-old, Budhia Singh, joined his school and he saw in the boy a natural runner, and so began coaching him, hoping that one day he would become India’s champion in future world competitions. One marathon began and the boy, Budhia performed an astounding feat (with his feet). The marathon was a 65 km stretch, including the famous Jagannath Puri pilgrimage site.
Young Budhia ran the whole distance without stopping. Only at the end (and, of course, the bulk of Odishans cheered him on every bit of the way) did he require some medical attention. He was fatigued and dehydrated.
Budhia was a real morale booster for his people. Not everyone, however, was behind the training. The Children’s Welfare agency was opposed. Biranchi became a controversial figure and was even arrested for training the child in a rather relentless way.
This true story also tells us that on April 13, 2008, Biranchi was murdered. I was impressed by the story which captured my attention from the choice of films / documentaries you can watch. Budhia is still alive, and just fifteen years old this year. I’d love to meet him some day although I’m just a walker.
I saw the film on Jet Airways, on my way to India just now. It’s called “Budhia Singh: Born to Run.” It was directed by Soumendra Padhi. (Here’s a link to the film on YouTube. https://youtu.be/3uQMLeNRjOU ). I was able to stay awake to watch it because the dark chocolate keeps me up, and I’m taking it to relieve the gout in my left foot.
May the Source be with you!