Sport biopic on Budhia Singh to hit screen soon

Bhubaneswar: The sports lovers and filmy fans have a reason to cheer as they will soon get another sport biopic on Odia child marathoner Budhia Singh titled ‘Duranta’ after movies like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Mary Kom on the lives of athletes.

Odia film maker Soumendra Padhi has stepped into Bollywood to present the life of child prodigy on the silver screen. Padhi, an engineer by profession, roped in Manoj Bajpayee to play Budhia’s coach Biranchi Das and Tillotama Shome as the marathon boy’s mother.

Most of the scenes of the movie, which is currently in the editing desk, were shot in Puri, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Delhi, production house sources said.

Producer and director Padhi, after gaining knowledge about the lives of Budhia and Biranchi and their relationship, took due permission of Biranchi’s widow, Geetanjali Panda.

“The theme of the film is based on me, Biranchi and Budhia. The flick features about the activities in the judo hall. But, there was a slight modification in that as he (Soumendra Padhi) discussed with me”, Geetanjali Panda said.

On the movie, Budhia Singh also expressed hope that movie may inspire children towards athletic.
“I am happy that the movie ‘Duranta’ was made on me, Biranchi sir and Geeta madam. I hope that more children will be inspired by the film”, Singh said.

Born in a slum area, Singh was sold to a salesman for Rs 800 only in 2004 when he was only four. Later he came in contact with judo coach and orphanage operator Biranchi Das when the buyer allegedly ill-treated him.

Once, the coach ordered him to go on running as part of punishment for some mischievous activities. Four hours after, Das found the boy was still running and that prompted him to train the child for marathons.

The wonder boy became cynosure of all eyes across the world after running from Bhubaneswar to Puri- a distance of at least 60 km., in 2006. He got place in Limca Book of Records for covering a long distance at such a little age.

Later, allegations were made against Das for exploiting the child which led loss of Budhia’s custody with Das. In 2008, Das was allegedly shot dead by gangster Raja Acharya in Bhubaneswar over personal rivalry.