12-yr-old autistic girl swims world-record 36 kms in Arabian Sea

Mumbai, Feb 18 (IANS) The 12-year-old daughter of an Indian Navy sailor has created history by swimming 36 kms in the Arabian Sea to create awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), officials said here on Thursday.
The girl, Jiya Rai – herself an ASD case – is the daughter of sailor Madan Rai and swam the distance from Bandra-Worli Sea Link to Gateway of India in 8 hours and 40 min on Wednesday.
“This is a new world record as last year, she set a record by becoming the youngest girl with ASD to swim 14 kms in the open sea,” said an official, adding that the feat would be certified by the concerned authorities.
Given her own medical condition, Jiya – a Class VII student of the Navy Children’s School – dedicated her astounding swimming feat to the cause of raising awareness about ASD.
Starting early, she plunged into the cold waters at the BWSL at 3.40 a.m. and reached her destination 36 kms away at 12.30 p.m., welcomed with cheers and clapping by the assembled crowd.
After completing her swim, Jiya was felicitated with a trophy by President of Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association Zarir N. Baliwala and others at a function near the Gateway of India.
Earlier, in February, 2020, Jiya had completed the treacherous swim from Gateway of India to Elephanta Island, a distance of 14 kms, in 3 hours and 27 minutes, creating a world record for being the youngest girl with ASD to swim 14 kms in the open sea.
The record-creating event on February 17 was conducted under supervision of Swimming Association of Maharashtra and associated with the FIT India Movement of the Union Ministry of Youth & Sports Affairs.

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