New Delhi: Eleven year old Jiya Rai, daughter of Madan Rai, Master Chief at Arms II, posted in INS Shikra, was felicitated on February 23 for setting a world record on February 15 by becoming the fastest special girl to swim 14 Km in open water.
The VI standard student of Navy Children School (NCS), Mumbai swam from Elephanta Island to Gateway of India, a distance of 14 Km in three 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.
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 advise that her repetitive knocking, a characteristic of her diagnosis could be purposely applied in water sport as therapy and she was initiated into swimming. The water therapy worked wonders and Jiya developed a passion for swimming.
The parents were able to nurture this passion and help her prepare for various competitions by overcoming many odds.