Budhia Singh (born 2002) is an Indian boy and the world's youngest marathon runner. Generally considered an athletic phenomenon and India's Wonder Kid, Budhia has participated in (and finished) races of up to 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) in roughly six hours and thirty minutes.
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 have allegedly lead to significant financial gains on the behalf of the late Mr. Biranchi Das, Budhia's coach. Controversy over the nature of these gains had led to accusations of exploitation against Mr. Das and an official inquiry by Indian child welfare officials was launched on 4 January 2006. It has since been proven that Mr Das never received the alleged money.
On 8 May 2006, a government statement had ordered that Budhia stop running until the age of 11. He has been awarded a sports scholarship for excellence.
On 13 August 2007, Biranchi Das was arrested by Indian police on suspicion of torture. Singh accused his coach of beating him and withholding food, and said he would give up running. The police said they had arrested and charged Das with criminal intimidation. Das claimed that Singh's family made up the charges because of financial reasons and petty rows. He said he recently expelled Singh's sister from a judo school he ran because she misbehaved, and he had refused to build Singh's mother a new house. However, Singh showed reporters scars he said were left by the coach's mistreatment. "He hung me upside down from a ceiling fan," he told reporters. "He locked me in a room for two days without food." Das denied the charges and said the scars are old, the result of the boy's tough early childhood in a slum in the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar. After a full medical examination it was determined that there was no evidence against Biranchi Das and all charges were dropped.
Limca Book of RecordsOn 2 May 2006, Budhia Singh completed a 65 kilometres (40 mi) run from Chapandie temple to Bhubaneshwar in seven hours, two minutes. This feat was registered in the Limca Book of Records. Budhia completed 65 km distance, but collapsed 5 km shy of the target 70 km distance.
Murder of Biranchi DasBiranchi Das was shot dead by unidentified assailants at 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". A trial is currently underway.
On December 13, 2010 Bhabeneswar fast track court found the murderers guilty and final sentence was passed on 17 December 2010. Both Sandeep Acharya alias Raja and his associate were sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment.