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On this World Autism Awareness Day, Meet Jiya Rai, Teen Who Calmed the Sea Waves

On this World Autism Awareness Day meet Jiya Rai, an Indian Para swimmer with Autism


What is Autism?

Symptoms of Autism

Super Girl Giya Rai!

World Autism Awareness Day: On this World Autism Awareness Day meet Jiya Rai, an Indian Para swimmer with Autism, has shut all mouths by swimming across the Palk Strait from Talaimannar, Sri Lanka, to Arichalmunai in Dhanushkodi Tamil Nadu. She achieved this target in 13 hours.

13- year-old Jiya Rai, daughter of Navy Officer Madan Rai, is determined to overcome her autism spectrum disorder and speech relay. She was diagnosed with the same at the age of two and started her swimming training at the advice of a doctor. She was also hailed for the world record for the most remarkable woman to swim in the open water at 14 kilometers per hour. In this situation, she set a record by swimming in the Palk Strait between Rameshwaram and Talamanarshe and became the world’s youngest and fastest female swimmer to swim the 29-kilometer Palk Strait.

What is Autism?

Autism, also known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complicated condition where individuals suffer from problems like behavioral and communication disorders. It can involve a wide range of skills and symptoms.

People with Autism have trouble understanding what other people feel and think. This makes it hard to express themselves orally or through facial expressions, gestures, and touch.

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Symptoms of Autism

Common symptoms of Autism include:

  • A lack of eye contact
  • A narrow range of interests or intense interest in specific topics
  • Doing something over and over, like repeating words or phrases, rocking back and forth, or flipping a lever
  • High sensitivity to touch, sounds, sights, or smells that seem ordinary to other people
  • Not looking at or listening to other people
  • Not looking at things when another person points at them
  • Not wanting to be cuddled or held
  • Talking in a flat, sing-song, or robotic voice
  • Trouble adapting to changes in routine

Some children with Autism may also have seizures. These might not start until adolescence.

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Super Girl Jiya Rai!

A video of her feat shows her swimming with ease as people throng at the shore, witnessing her creating the history and applauding her. The clip also showed Tamil Nadu Director General of Police Dr. C Sylendra Babu presenting her with a souvenir while she kept her head high holding the national flag.

Rai earned applaud online for her achievement.

The Indian Navy also posted a congratulatory note on the official Facebook page. The Indian Navy also noted in the Facebook post that the event was held to raise autism awareness, 75 years of India’s Independence, and bolster India and Sri Lanka ties.

The ace swimmer has received the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar award, which is the country’s highest honor for a citizen under 18 years.

PM Narendra Modi gave her a special mention in his Mann Ki Baat speech.

A resident of Mumbai, Jiya Rai has not let her condition stop her from swimming to great success. She had previously broken a global record by swimming from the Worli sea link in Bandra to the Gateway of India in approximately 8 hours and 40 minutes.

With this record, Jiya has joined the exclusive group of swimmers, including Kutraleeswaran (1994), R Jai Jaswanth (2019), Edi Hu of the United States (2020), Shyamala Koli (2021), who swam from Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi. She is currently on a quest to become the world’s first and youngest Para swimmer to swim seven oceans.

Go girl, more power to you!

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?
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