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Boy wonder Budhia in centre of controversy
November 19, 2005 12:55 IST
The Orissa state government is caught in a controversy over the safety and security of four-year-old marathon wonder kid Budhia Singh following the government's decision to move him to a SOS village.
The government alleges that Budhia's coach Biranchi Das is exploiting the boy.
While Budhia's mother Sukanti Singh has turned down the offer to send his son to the SOS village as suggested by State Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallick, the wonder kid has refused to move anywhere and has said that he would prefer to stay with his 'sir' and run for the state.
Aggrieved by the minister's move and her alleged remark against him for exploiting the boy, Das has decided to move a defamation case on Monday.
Das said the minister's statement before the electronic media that he was earning money by exploiting Budhia's talent has hurt him and tarnished his reputation.
Mallick, on the other hand, said the state government could not remain a mute spectator and see the boy being exploited and would take all possible steps to ensure that Budhia was not used by vested interests.
The state's Sports Minister Debashis Nayak, who had earlier announced a monthly assistance of Rs 500 for Budhia, also hinted that the government would interfere if anybody misuses the boy's talent.
The government has imposed restrictions on Budhia to participate in any long distance race in the state or elsewhere without clearance from a team of doctors.
The wonder boy had already become a celebrity in Orissa after his non-stop 60 km-run from Puri to Bhubaneshwar in the recent past.
However, both health and sports experts, who closely monitored his long distance road shows had opined that he might suffer from cardiac muscular enlargement if he is allowed to run for miles together at a stretch regularly.