A 12-year-old autistic girl has created history by swimming a stretch of 36 kilometres from Bandra-Worli Sea Link to the Gateway of India on Wednesday, 17 February.
Jiya Rai is the daughter of Madan Rai, a naval sailor. As someone on the autistic spectrum herself, she carried out this extraordinary feat to raise awareness about the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Rai started swimming from the Bandra Worli Sea Link at 3:50 am on Wednesday morning, and reached the Gateway of India at 12.30 pm, completing a distance of 36 km in 8 hours and 40 minutes.
Rai was felicitated with a trophy by Ms Zarir N Baliwala, President of Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association (GMAAA), at an award ceremony held at the Gateway of India on Wednesday.
The swimming event was under the banner of Swimming Association of Maharashtra, a recognised body of the Swimming Federation of India, according to the Press Information Bureau. The FIT India Movement launched by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affair was also associated with the event.
This is not her first swimming record. On 15 February 2020, the 12-year-old athlete swam a distance of 14 km from the Elephanta Island to the Gateway of India in 3 hours, 27 minutes and 30 seconds. This record made her the youngest girl with Autism Spectrum Disorder to swim 14 km in open waters.
(With inputs from PIB.)