JIYA RAI: THE 13-YEAR-OLD AUTISTIC GIRL SETS A RECORD BY SWIMMING ACROSS THE PALK STRAIT IN 13 HOURS


Highlights-
  • Jiya Rai, an autistic girl, has set a world record by swimming across the Palk Strait.
  • She achieved the record by swimming from Sri Lanka’s Talaimannar to Tamil Nadu’s Dhanuskodi.
  • In 13 hours and 10 minutes, she completed a distance of 29 kilometers.

When there is a will, there is a way! The autism-affected 13-year-old girl from Maharashtra exemplifies the adage. Jiya Rai, an autistic girl, has set a world record and earned global fame. By swimming from Sri Lanka’s Talaimannar to Tamil Nadu’s Dhanuskodi across the Palk Strait, the swimmer has achieved the attainment. In 13 hours and 10 minutes, she completed a distance of 29 kilometers.

World’s youngest and fastest female swimmer

Jiya Rai, daughter of INS Kunjali’s Master Chief of Arms, became the world’s youngest and fastest female swimmer by swimming across the Palk Strait. Bhula Chowdhary set the previous record in 2004, covering the distance in 13 hours and 52 minutes. The swimming began at 4.22 a.m. in Talaimanar and ended at 5.32 p.m. in Dhanushkodi. The Para-Swimming Association organized and directed the event.

Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Jiya was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was a little over two years old. Her doctor realized a few months later that her repetitive knocking may be used as therapy in water sports. This worked wonderfully, as Jiya became more relaxed and developed an interest in swimming.

Ensured Jiya’s safety during the event

Jiya was covered by the Sri Lankan Navy for search and rescue (SAR) while swimming in Sri Lankan seas, while the Indian Navy and Coast Guard secured her safety in Indian waters. This event was supported financially by Goa Shipyard Ltd.

Life achievements of Jiya Rai

Jiya Rai was previously awarded the “Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Purashkar (PMRBP) – 2022. It is the highest honor granted to individuals under the age of eighteen. In February 2021, she became the youngest and first autistic girl to swim from the Worli sea link to the Gateway of India, completing a distance of 36 kilometers. Moreover, Jiya is also the open water swimming world record holder. She’s on a quest to become the world’s first and youngest para swimmer to cross seven seas.

Her accomplishments do not end here. Jiya’s name is also registered in the Asia Book of Records as well as the India Book of Records. Jiya earned three gold medals at the Twentieth National Para-swimming Championship-2020 in March 2021. In the National and State Swimming/Open Water Sea Swimming Championships, she has won 24 gold medals and 1 silver medal.

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Dr. Kirti Sisodhia

Content Writer

CATEGORIES Business Agriculture Technology Environment Health Education

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