Running marathons at the age of three? Who is this boy? Budahi Singh, from the slums of India, born into the lowest caste, living in poverty, and sold by his own mother to a passing pedlar for 800 rupees. The man that took him in, Biranchi Das was the top judo coach in India, and said that from the minute he saw him he spotted his extraordinary running talent.
Biranchi forced Budahi to run extremely long distances on a daily basis, half marathons and marathons frequently, along with an over 40 miles nonstop run at the age of four. While this boy is seen as incredible to some, he is seen as abused and totured by others. Birnachi had one goal in mind when he laid eyes on Budahi and that was a trip to the Olympics. Did he love him? I have no idea, but the physical pain he put this young child through would make you think otherwise.
Budahi was taken away from Biranchi as he was charged with intimidation and torture, and the boy was put into one of the top boarding schools for athletes. While we as readers would think that he has finally been released from the man who enslaved him, Budahi believes that he has lost the only mentor and advocate he has ever had. While my sympathies go out to this young boy questions still remain, one in particular: is sport an appropriate way out of poverty and if so at what cost?