Budhia for long walk to Kolkata, government says no


Bhubaneswar : Little Budhia Singh is again set to perform a feat much beyond his five years – of walking 500 km to reach Kolkata, but the Orissa government Saturday decided to nip the ambitious plans of his coach.

Support TwoCircles

The boy marathon runner, who shot to fame for his ability to run long distances, is planning to embark on the long walk next month.

However, the state's juvenile welfare body Saturday decided to summon his coach and adoptive father, Biranchi Das, to appear before it on the matter.

"We have decided to summon Das and serve a warning notice on the proposed misuse of the boy," Rabisankar Mishra, president of the Khurda district child welfare committee, told IANS.

Das announced last week that the boy would walk from Bhubaneswar to West Bengal capital Kolkata beginning June 6 to create awareness among the youth about sports.

The five-member panel, which met Saturday, declared that the proposed walk was an illegal activity. It told the Budhia Singh Trust, formed to groom Budhia with Das as managing trustee, not to use the child in any way in the marathon walk, said Mishra.

"We have also decided to summon Biranchi Das to appear before us before June 6 for further inquiry into the matter," he said. The summons would be served Monday, he said.

"Any cruelty to a child is punishable under law and we are going to take action as per law," he said.

Mishra said the child welfare committee is empowered to protect the interest of children in the state.

Based on the report of the Khurda district child welfare committee, the state government last year had banned the wonder kid from running long distances. Das had moved the court against the state government's decision. The court has not yet given its verdict.

"I will take legal counsel for further course of action if they (the welfare committee) prevent Budhia from going on the walk," Das had said earlier.

"He will walk only during morning to avoid the summer heat, while an ambulance, a team of doctors, a water tanker and a mobile toilet would follow him," Das added.

Das and his wife adopted Budhia after paying Rs.800 to his impoverished mother, who lives in a slum.

The boy became a celebrity last year after he earned a place in the Limca Book of World Records for his 60 km run between Puri and Bhubaneswar. Budhia runs 45 km twice a week and 20 km on other days.