The latest buzz has it that Oriya filmmaker Soumendra Padhi is making a film on wonder boy Budhia Singh, who ran marathons at the age of 4, and his coach Biranchi Das. Turns out that Manoj Bajpayee will play Das in the film.
Manoj Bajpayee and Budhia Singh
Says Manoj, “It is going to be a big canvas film and it will go on the floors in October. We will be shooting at a lot of real locations which includes places in Orissa, Delhi and Mumbai.’’ Meanwhile, the director is still looking for a child actor to play the role of Budhia Singh.
Budhia was born in a poor family in a small village in Orissa. In 2004, he was sold for R800 to a salesman who used to ill-treat him. Budhia then met local judo coach and orphanage operator Biranchi Das. Once Das asked Budhia to go on running as part of a punishment for bullying an inmate and he forgot about him. Four hours later, Das found the boy still running and that’s when he started training Budhia for marathons.
Later on, Budhia acquired a celebrity status, but there were allegations against Das for exploiting the child and he eventually lost the boy’s custody in 2006. In 2008, Das was shot dead at Bhubneshwar. Marathon Boy, HBO and BBC’s documentary about Budhia’s life, was even nominated for an Emmy.