It is rightly said that nothing can stop you achieving your ultimate goal if your determination is unshakable. Yes, determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you. This proverb is justified to its fullest meaning by the child prodigy of Orissa Budhia Singh.
On Tuesday (May 2, 2006), the four-and-a-half year old wonder-kid of Orissa has entered the record books by becoming the youngest marathon runner in the world.He completed an uninterrupted 65-km marathon from the Jagannath temple in Puri to the CRPF campus in Bhubaneswar to add another feather on his cap. Though he was narrowly failed to complete the run of 70 km in the requisite time of seven hours, he still managed to make it into the Limca Book of Records.
This run was sponsored by the CRPF, and officials of Limca Book keenly observed the whole marathon while his mentor Biranchi Narayan and hundreds of CRPF personnel joined Budhia till he ends his race at Stewart College just a few distances away from the destination.It is the time of celebration for Budhia, his coach, his fellow hostel mates, his town men, and for all Oriyas staying elsewhere in the world. He brought the glory not just for Orissa, but also for the entire nation.
Every Indian, today should be feeling proud for the wonder-kid's wonderful achievement. Today he created a history and told to everybody that, with an idea, a strong determination and support of right people, you can do great things.Budhia Singh had become a known figure since he participated in the Delhi Marathon in October last year. Though by that time, he had already gained the publicity in the local and national media, the Delhi Marathon helped him gaining an international fame.
Among the thousands of people, armature runners, and professional marathon runners from various countries, Budhia was at the top of media publicity. Be it local media, national or international, Budhia was everywhere. Obviously, It's because of his age.
He was only 3 years and 9 months at that time. Daley Thompson, former Olympic decathlon gold medallist who was the brand ambassador of Delhi Half Marathon, was greatly amazed and influenced by this youngest ever marathon runner. He met Budhia and along with his parents and offered some valuable tips on the career management of the potential Indian long distance-runner in the international arena. Since then, this child athlete has been in news.According to his mentor and coach Biranchi Narayan Das, the Making-of-Budhia story is quite fascinating and out of ordinary. He says, once he saw this 3-year-kid with a mid-aged scrap collector and got suspicious.
When he enquired about the child, the man told that he had bought him for 800 rupees. Owing to severe poverty, Budhia's mother had sold him to that scrap collector for a paltry 800 rupees. But the destiny was with him. Clouds can't hide a star for long. It has to shine, and now this little star is shining across the world.
It was the boy's fate only that Biranchi rescued him from growing alongside the garbage in a stinking corner of the city, and gave him everything for what he is known today.His talent for running was discovered by a quirk of fate. Once his coach and guardian asked him to do laps of a training ground as punishment for using slang, and was amazed to discover that the kid was still doing laps for several hours without rest.
That was the day, the coach found an enormous talent in him and decided to make him a star.Then, started the training process, and it is hard to believe that in less than a year after that incident, Budhia was able to cover a distance of 60 ?km for several times. He runs at least 20 km everyday, covering 45 km twice a week and greater distances once in a fortnight.
The incredible talent of the child also attracted some international documentary filmmaker to shoot documentaries on the wonder-kid. A French television channel has already shot a 12-minute documentary a few months before. Another team of television documentary makers from London had also visited Budhia's home and his judo hostel where he is being nourished by Biranchi Das and his wife, to make a short film on Budhia.As the publicity went rocking in the national and international media, there expected some twists also. There were and are some controversies that followed the publicity of the great boy.
While Mr. Das was suffering from some sponsorship woes, and finding it hard to arrange some parties to bear the expenses of his training, some controversies crippled the star coach. He was accused of gaining publicity by showing the talents of the super kid heartlessly. The first of its kind came from a minister of Orissa government. Then a group of doctors cautioned that the over-exhibition of the child's talent is dangerous for his health.
It is accused that his mentor is exploiting the child. After the women and child welfare minister, the sports minister of the state, Debashis Nayak, said the government would not be a mute spectator to the exploitation and would intervene, if necessary, to "save his (Budhia's) future".Orissa Olympic Association secretary Ashirbad Behera had also his view; he shouted that the boy's ability is being overused. The government has also issued a summon regarding his "adoption" of the marathon boy, which Biranchi Das has challenged in the High Court of Orissa.
He justifies that the adoption of the child is done in valid process and Budhia's mother has also given consent that the child remains with Biranchi Das. No body can force him to send the child to a SOS hostel.The department of women and child welfare had recently asked Das to appear before a committee and explain the circumstances under which he had "adopted" Budhia.
The committee would also discuss the alleged overexploitation of the four-year-old wonder boy. Sports enthusiasts, coaches and doctors of the state had earlier expressed concern over the manner Budhia was "utilised" and "exhibited" by his so-called mentor and coach for "personal name, fame and money".But Budhia's mentor, Mr. Das, is undeterred by the criticism. He says the criticisms are all despicable.
He countered those by saying, the people in high authority should come forward to help in grooming the child, rather shouting foul just to create a controversy." A team of three doctors conducts regular check-ups on Budhia to find out if anything is wrong with him. "I don't know why these people are so concerned, moreover, the child is well protected and adequate care is being taken for his studies," he adds. The state government has announced a monthly stipend of 500 rupees ($12) for Budhia which would not be enough to meet the expenses of the child for even two days, says Biranchi Das.
Now, with CRPF coming forward to sponsor the child's endeavors and training process, and the star kid has already entered into the Limca Book of Records, perhaps the controversies might lose its worth. Whatever the obstacles that come on the way, warriors overcome them with sheer courage and determination. Who can stop a star to shine? It's high time now, that we should start encouraging the kid and support his mentor to make him an international long-distance runner. No body should come in way of making of a great star of future.Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.
And it is the determination of this wonder-kid, which helped him to make a record. Keep it up and long live dear Budhia!..SAROJ KUMAR PATTNAIK.The author is working as a Media Researcher with a News Channel based in Hyderabad.Email:sarojkumar.
By: Saroj Kumar Pattnaik