It was a special occasion. It was an extraordinary event. There was not a single Oriya who was not eager to know how the 65 km road from Puri to Bhubaneswar blossoms under a pair of tender feet that was sure to enter the Limca Book of World Records.
Buddhia Singh, the four years and two months old boy who personifies Orissas simplicity and spirit, took 7 hours and 2 minutes to cover the distance winding up the run at DAV School at 11.05 AM on 02 May 2006 to the ecstatic cheers of thousands of fans and well-wishers and made the world record befitting his age.
I will keep the pledge given to my motherland, to my mother and to my Guru, he had declared before putting his first foot on the mission at Puri, at 4. 07 AM.
After 8 AM the Sun started beaming mercilessly. But Buddhia did not bother. He defeated scorching sun to write the new chapter of achievement in the Book of Records.
As many as 300 persons from Central Reserve Police and his Guru Biranchi Das accompanied Buddhia in the memorable run even as innumerable admirers had kept the entire road thronged with all the best wishes for their determined darling. Officials of Limca Book of World Records attended the event and watched the entire exercise.
He has made it, declared the sagacious Assistant Editor of Limca Book of World Records Ms. Amreen Toor present on the spot. He has made it to a berth in 2007 edition, she announced.
Buddhia is Orissa’s new find of pride. He is born to a wretchedly poor woman Sukanti Singh, who resides in a slum at Gautam Nagar in Bhubaneswar. She had sold him away to a rag picker for only Rs.500/-, unable as she was to maintain the boy after sad demise of her husband Krushna Singh. Though very poor, she had breathed into her son a sense of devotion and obedience and had made him take life as it is, before parting with her in tearful eyes. Carry out the commands of your master and try to live a content life my boy, she had said to Buddhia in sobs. Before going away with the rag picker, Buddhia, only three years by then, to the best of ability of his baby mind, had understood the difficulty his mother had fallen into and made up his mind to honor his mothers words.
The rag-picker wanted Budhia to assist him. He was asked to pick up rags from various places of Bhubaneswar, which he was complying with obediently. Once, unaware of entry restrictions, he entered into the campus of Bhubaneswar Judo Association in search of empty water bottles and anything that might be left discarded and eventually picked up a quarrel with a boy who was receiving training, hurling filthy words acquired in the slum. Hardly had he known that the adventure would whip up wrath in the Judo teacher Biranchi Das.
Das, a strong disciplinarian, wanted to award such a punishment to the boy that he will never venture to enter into his campus in future. He sternly ordered the boy, only three and half years by then, to keep running within the campus till further orders and then devoted his attention to his scheduled work. He was sure that taking advantage of his absence from the spot, the boy would escape. But to his astonishment, he saw that the boy, oblivious of the opportunity to run away, was running as ordered. Around two hours had passed away by that time.
Awe struck at the perseverance the boy displaced, the teacher in Das arose. He ripped apart the cocoon of detachment, rushed into the campus and embraced Budhia who, to him, had epitomized obedience.
Where do you stay? Why rag-picking? Who are your parents? What do they do? He went on asking as if in a trance. Buddhia gave him the answers honestly.
Das went to the rag-picker who had purchased Buddhia. He persuaded him to restore Buddhia to his mother. He made it clear to him that unless that is done the matter would be reported to law enforcement authorities on the ground that the small boy, purchased at a cost, was being used as a slave. Panicked, the rag-picker wanted his money back. Das paid him the money and restored the child to his mother. The grateful mother readily agreed to leave the boy under care of Das who fostered him as a son.
Unless one sees how affectionately Das has been bringing up this wonderful boy, step by step, it would be difficult to believe that such a phenomenon is happening in Orissa.
But to the chagrin of Das, after Buddhia attracted public attention as a super boy, the State Government has created many obstacles on his way to more success. A lady Minister, in charge of Women & Child Welfare, as we have earlier reported in these pages, has gone to the extent of using filthy words against Das in her over-active design to separate the duo. Das has preferred a defamation suit against the lady Minister, who was earlier entangled in a case for having misbehaved with a Bloc Development Officer.
After the boy qualified for a berth in the Limca Book of Records, the Sports Minister has come forward with assurances to extend State support for his carrier building. The amount of money he has announced is so ridiculously marginal that we are not inclined to record it. However, to us it looks like another attempt to separate Buddhia from his mentor in the guise of State funding.
As at the moment, people of Orissa do not bother over what the Ministers and the Officers of Orissa Government are saying on or proposing for Buddhia. To them, Biranchi Das has no comparison as a teacher and Buddhia has no comparison as a pupil.
The entire State is agog with the announcement of Limca Book of Records recognising the boy’s achievement. Oriya nation is really proud of Buddhia.
Limca Book of Records has never hasitated to bestow recognition upon worthy sons of this soil.
As for example, Anshuman Das, grand-son of retired O.A.S. officer Anadi Charan Das is another Oriya boy who had entered the Limca Book of World Records 2001 at the age of 3 years and 9 months as the worlds youngest software executive. Belonging to Puri, Das is now residing at New Jersey in USA with his parents.