Mother demands probe into funds raised for Budhia


Bhubaneswar : Sukanti Singh, mother of marathon kid Budhia, has demanded a probe into the funds raised by different trusts for the welfare of her son. She also asserts that she has not received any money from any trust.

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“I know that funds were raised for our welfare but we did not benefit from these,” Singh, who lives in a slum here, told IANS. “I want a probe into this. I will also draw Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s attention to the matter,” she added.

Budhia’s impoverished mother had sold him to a man for a paltry sum of Rs.800 to work as a labourer. But a local sports coach, Biranchi Das, rescued Budhia, adopted him, and trained him to become a marathon sensation. Das was mysteriously shot dead last month.

Budhia, under Das’ tutelage, created a record in May 2006 by running 65 km from Puri to Bhubaneswar in seven hours – a feat acknowledged by the Limca Book of Records.

But Singh last year accused Das of using the boy for his personal gain and misusing funds collected in her son’s name. She lodged a complaint with the police and Das was arrested, and later released.

Singh’s fresh allegations assume significance as Chagala alias Akhya Behera, held for his involvement in Das’ murder, said the coach was killed over the funds raised for Budhia.

He said that at least Rs.90 million were raised by a trust named after Budhia after he created the world record.

Das was shot dead April 13 outside a judo centre in Bhubaneswar. Raja alias Sandeep Acharya, the prime suspect in the murder, was Monday arrested in Goa. He faces over 30 cases of extortion, murder and kidnapping.