12-year-old girl with autism swims 36 km in eight hours in Mumbai

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (PTI) Jiya Rai, a 12-year-old girl with autism, created history on Wednesday by swimming from Mumbai's Bandra-Worli sea link to the Gateway of India, covering a distance of 36 km in eight hours and 40 minutes, officials said.

Jiya is the daughter of naval sailor Madan Rai.

The swimming event was conducted under the observation of the Swimming Association of Maharashtra, a recognised body of the Swimming Federation of India, the Indian Navy said in a statement.

'Jiya Rai, a 12 year old daughter of a Naval sailor Madan Rai, created history by swimming from Bandra-Worli Sea Link to Gateway of India, a distance of 36 km, in eight hours and 40 minutes on February 17,' it said.

'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 Feb 17 at 0350 hrs from Bandra-Worli Sea Link and completed the distance to Gateway of India at 1230 hrs,' the Navy said.

It said an award ceremony was held at the Gateway of India on Wednesday, where Jiya was felicitated with a trophy by Zarir N Baliwala, the president of the Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association (GMAAA).

Jiya had swam from the Elephanta Island to the Gateway of India, a distance of 14 km, in three hours 27 minutes and 30 seconds on February 15 last year, the Navy said.

It added that she holds the world record for the youngest girl with ASD to swim 14 km in open waters. PTI MPB RC