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Autism-Affected Girl Creates History, Swims From Sri Lanka To Dhanushkodi In 13 Hours

Autism affected Jiya Rai holds the world record for the most special woman to swim in the open water at a speed of 14 km/hour

Autism-Affected Girl Creates History, Swims From Sri Lanka To Dhanushkodi In 13 Hours
Jiya Rai has been awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2022 under the open water swimming category
Highlights
  • Jiya Rai set a record by swimming from Sri Lanka To Dhanushkodi in 13 hours
  • She has been awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2022
  • Jiya Rai swam at a speed of 14 km/hour setting a world record

Ramanathapuram: Jiya Rai, an Indian para-swimmer suffering from autism, has set a new record by crossing the Bakjala Junction in 13 hours from Sri Lanka’s Thalaimannar to Arichalmunai in Dhanushkodi on Sunday. Rai, daughter of Madan Rai, an Indian naval officer in Mumbai, suffered from autism spectrum disorder and speech delay when she was two years old and started swimming training on the advice of a doctor. She holds the world record for the most special woman to swim in the open water at a speed of 14 km/hour.

In this situation, she set a record by swimming in the Palk Strait between Rameswaram and Thalaimannar. At 5.25 pm, she reached the Arichalmunai beach in Rameswaram where she was welcomed by Tamil Nadu DGP C Sylendra Babu. He then presented her with a souvenir. In 2017, the DGP himself had swum in the Palk Strait. The DGP Babu said,

There are many trekkers in the country who trek in the Himalayas. But the number of swimmers is very less. So the youth should come forward to achieve the feat of swimming. This sea is not like any other sea; it is a tidal sea.

He also stated that the presence of current under the sea is not known to people who are familiar with the sea.

It is also home to dangerous fish called milk sharks. Similarly, there is a lot of jellyfish. Beyond all this, swimming in the Palk Strait is one of the greatest achievements. And it is much easier to swim at night than during the day, he said.

The DGP also said it was commendable that a young woman with autism achieved the feat of swimming across the sea.

Also Read: Project Nishant, An Initiative Of Two School Girls Is Providing Employment To Mentally Diverse People

Jiya Rai’s father Madan Rai said,

For the first three hours, it was difficult for her to swim. My daughter, who suffers from autism and has lost the ability to speak, said that she considered it a great achievement to have swum through the Bay of Bengal in 13 hours.

The 13-year-old girl, who is studying at Navy Children School, has been awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2022 under the open water swimming category, the highest award for citizens below 18 years.

Last year, she had also created history after swimming from Bandra-Worli Sea Link to Gateway of India, a distance of 36 km, in 8 hours and 40 minutes.

Also Read: An Author, Award-Winning Actor, RJ Who Didn’t Let His Disability Come In The Way Of His Achievements

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity,  that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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