Four-year-old Budhia Singh is no ordinary child.
On May 2, he entered the Limca Book of Records by running a marathon covering 65 km -- the distance from Puri to Bhubaneswar in Orissa -- in seven hours and two minutes.
Forty two kilometres is the normal distance for a full marathon run by adults.
What Budhia did was awesome, for man or child.
But at the end of the run, he collapsed and grew breathless, raising concerns from Orissa's state-run Child Welfare Committee. It is now probing allegations that Budhia's coach Biranchi Das is exploiting the child for personal gain.
Das and his wife adopted Budhia from his poor mother, who lives in a slum in Orissa. Orissa's Child Development Minister Pramila Mallick accused Das of exploiting Budhia; Das won a court injunction against Mallick for 'tarnishing his image'.
What does little Budhia have to say? 'During my (daily) 10 hour practice, I don't feel the pain; I enjoy it,' the little boy said.
Budhia's story is echoed in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Indian children, who are under tremendous pressure to perform in various facets of life -- at school, outside, in extra-curricular activities, etc.
Every years, there are cases of students committing suicide due to the stress caused by board exams.
Are parents putting too much pressure on children these days to excel?
What are the long-term repercussions on children?
Can we as a society work towards improving the situation?
You may be a parent or a student who has fallen prey to a competitive system, or an expert with a solution to offer.
Tell us what you feel, your suggestions, your experiences, your tips and more.
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