12-year-old autistic girl swims 36 km to create awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder

The 12-year-old daughter of an Indian Navy sailor has created history by swimming 36 kms to create awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), officials said on Thursday.

The girl, Jiya Rai 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.

She is a known case of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and dedicated the swimming feat to raise awareness about Autism. 

“She commenced her record setting feat in the early morning hours of 17 Feb 21 at 0350 hrs from Bandra-Worli Sea Link and completed at Gateway of India at 1230 hrs. The swimming event was conducted under observation of the Swimming Association of Maharashtra, a recognised body of Swimming Federation of India. The event was also associated with the FIT India Movement by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affair,” according to the official release.

“Ms Jiya Rai created a record as the youngest girl diagnosed with ASD to swim the dist of 36 km in open sea. The message is quite clear by the gritty girl – Let nothing stop you from realising your true potential!!” Pro Defence Mumbai tweeted.

Jiya Rai was felicitated with a trophy by Zarir N Baliwala, President of Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association (GMAAA), it said.

Jiya Rai had earlier swam from Elephanta Island to Gateway of India, distance of 14 Km in 03 hrs 27 minutes and 30 sec on 15 Feb 20 and holds the world record for youngest girl with ASD to swim 14 km in open waters, the statement said.