Doctors who reviewed Budhia Singh, the four-and-a-half-year-old marathon kid of Orissa, declared that his health is normal. The child was taken by police for a medical check up after he ran an astounding 65km earlier this week.
The police took Budhia to the government-run Capital Hospital at Bhubaneswar for a medical check up on the orders of the state Child Welfare Council (CWC) probing allegations that coach Biranchi Das was exploiting the boy for his personal gains.
Budhia had on Tuesday run 65 km - from the temple town of Puri to Bhubaneswar - in seven hours 2 minutes to find a place in the Limca Book of World Record. He had collapsed at the end of the run, prompting concern about his health.
Child rights activists and paediatricians expressing concern over Budhia's health said that by making the boy run long distances at such a tender age might affect his heart and kidney functions as well as his general health.
Curious onlookers and media persons surrounded the boy friday, upsetting him.
"The condition of the boy was found absolutely okay," said Sidhartha Mohanty, one of the attending doctors at the hospital. Specialists at the hospital conducted several tests on Budhia, including checking his blood pressure and his heart, in the presence of a magistrate.
"Budhia's health condition was normal except that his blood pressure was a little on the high side. This was because of the tension he was facing surrounded by the police and people," he told media persons.
Biranchi Das, the foster father of Budhia, alleged that police forcibly took the boy to the hospital. "I will approach the court to appeal against such harassment. I have been taking him to the best of doctors," Das said.
Das and his wife adopted Budhia after rescuing him from a slum. He had been sold to them for a paltry sum of Rs.800 by his impoverished mother. Das helped the boy become a running sensation.
Budhia became a celebrity after his non-stop 60 km run between Puri and Bhubaneswar last year. He runs at least 20 km every day and covers 45 km twice a week. Das recently enrolled Budhia at the Boxi Jagabandhu (BJB) English Medium School, one of the leading institutions here, as a lower kindergarten student.
Interestingly the CWC, constituted under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, had earlier this year summoned Das to appear before it over alleged rumours of deterioration in Budhia's health. The Orissa High Court later stayed the order asking it not to serve any notice to the kid and his coach.