Jiya Rai, Naval special child with autism swims 14 km in open water, sets world record

New Delhi: Jiya Rai, the eleven-year-old daughter of Madan Rai, Master Chief at Arms II, posted in INS Shikra, created a world record on 15 February by becoming the fastest special girl to swim 14 km in open water. The sixth-grade student of Navy Children School (NCS), Mumbai swam from Elephanta Island to Gateway of India, a distance of 14 km in 03 hours 27 minutes and 30 seconds. The solo swimming event was conducted under the supervision of Swimming Association of Maharashtra, an authorized body of Swimming Federation of India.

This extraordinary achievement of Jiya Rai is understood to have qualified for registration in India Book of Records, Asia Book & Limca Book of Records for the youngest and first special girl in the world to swim a distance of 14 km in 03 hrs 27 minutes and 30 sec in the open water category.

The young champion has come a long way since she was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and delay in speech at a tender age of about two years. Based on her doctor’s advice that her repetitive knocking, a characteristic of her diagnosis could be purposely applied in water sport as therapy she was initiated in swimming.

The water therapy worked wonders and she developed a passion for swimming. Her parents were able to nurture this passion and help her prepare for various competitions by overcoming many odds.

On 23 February, she was felicitated with a certificate and trophy for this record-breaking achievement, by Abhay Dadhe, Associate Vice President of Swimming Federation of India at an award ceremony held at KR Kama Hall, Mumbai.

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The ID Staff

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