12-year-old autistic girl swims 36km in Arabian Sea, makes world record

12-year-old autistic girl swims 36km in Arabian Sea, makes world record

Starting early, she plunged into the cold waters at the BWSL at 3.40am

The 12-year-old daughter of an Indian Navy sailor has created history by swimming 36km in the Arabian Sea to create awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), officials said, according to media.

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 minutes on Wednesday.

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"This is a new world record as last year, she set a record by becoming the youngest girl with ASD to swim 14km 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 3.40am and reached her destination 36km away at 12.30pm, 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 14km, in 3 hours and 27 minutes, creating a world record for being the youngest girl with ASD to swim 14km in the open sea.

The record-creating event on February 17 was conducted under the 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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