India's "Marathon Boy" Stars in Music Video
A four-year-old Indian boy who became a national celebrity after running for seven hours, triggering abuse claims from human rights activists, has notched up another success -- starring in a music video.
Last week Budhia Singh entered into the Limca Book of Records, a local version of the Guinness publication, after running uninterrupted for 65 kilometres (40 miles).
Officials in his home state of Orissa in eastern India poured praise on the boy as the media raced to cover his every step, but leading rights bodies criticised the state government and Budhia's coach for endangering the boy's health for personal reward.
Prepared in the local Oriya language, the video is being promoted by a handful of television channels. A four-minute song from the video is set to be released on Sunday with the boy in attendance.
"We hope the song would clear many misconceptions about child," producer Rajesh Kumar Mohanty told Reuters.
"Budhia is not just an ordinary human being. We have tried to compare him with mythological Lord Krishna. He was born somewhere else and is being brought up by his coach," Mohanty said.
Krishna, a popular Hindu deity, is believed to have been born in a jail before being spirited away by his father and given to relatives to look after.
Born in a slum in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, Budhia was sold by his mother for just 800 rupees (10 pounds) after his father died. Biranchi Das, a local judo teacher, adopted Budhia and later discovered his unusual stamina.
The video shows Budhia running and practising judo, the sport taught by his coach, while the song's lyrics praises him as the pride of Orissa.
The state government has requested the Orissa High Court to restrain Das from making Budhia run long distances after a doctors' report warned that strenuous exercise at such a young age could damage his health.