Jiya Rai, a 12-year-old girl from Mumbai, swam from Bandra-Worli Sea Link to Gateway of India on February 17. Ms Rai, who is diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) covered a distance of 36 km in the Arabian Sea in 8 hours and 40 minutes. She swam across the Arabian Sea to raise awareness about ASD. The daughter of a naval sailor, Madan Rai, began swimming since she was 10 years old as part of her therapy sessions.

PRO Defence Mumbai took to its official Twitter handle to share the extraordinary achievement of the young girl. “Ms Jiya Rai, a 12 yr old daughter of a naval sailor, swam from Bandra-Worli Sea Link to Gateway of India #Mumbai on 17 Feb to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Jiya who herself was diagnosed with ASD, swam the distance of 36 km in 8hr 40 min,” the handle tweeted alongside few pictures. “The message is quite clear by the gritty girl – Let nothing stop you from realising your true potential!!,” it added.

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

Ms. Rai was felicitated by Zarir N Baliwala, the president of the Greater Mumbai Amateur Aquatic Association (GMAAA). Last year in February, she broke another world record by swimming 14 km from Gateway of India to the Elephanta Caves, becoming the youngest person with ASD to have achieved the feat.