'It is cruel. It is absolutely cruel. We are doing a diservice to that child,' Murthy told reporters at the Infosys campus as he endorsed the view of former athlete P T Usha who called the exercise 'wrong.' 'We should be careful about burning out our children. If Budhia Singh could win the world marathon at the age of 16, or 17 or 18 and then sustain it over a long period of time, that is praiseworthy and laudatory,' he said.
But, he said, making the child run 65 km was 'absolutely cruel.' 'We should preserve the child. We should recognise the talent. We should give him the nutrition and good training,' said Murthy who launched 'Ushas', a quarterly newsletter from the Usha School of Athletics founded by her.
Usha said it was wrong to make 'such a young kid' run long distance and added this might affect his body. He must be preserved and only after a proper training was given to him should he be made to run, she said.