Shraddha Shukla is only 11 years old. The endurance swimmer has, however, made it the mission of her life to represent India at the Olympics. As a brave step towards her goal, she is currently swimming from Kanpur to the holy city of Varanasi, setting a new national record. She is also spreading the 'Clean Ganga' message along the way.
Started this National Sports Day as a 10-day mission, Shraddha will be swimming 570km along the Ganges river. The distance she will cover is equal to 13 Olympic marathons for a runner. Shraddha will be swimming about 60 km daily, taking washroom and refreshment breaks every four to five hours.
“I am not nervous. I am excited and confident of completing the challenge... I am eyeing the national record... After this, I will focus on achieving my dream of going to the Olympics and swimming through the English Channel,” Shraddha told the Hindustan Times.
Shraddha started swimming at the age of two when her grandfather, Munnu Shukla, a diver, took her to the Ganga. Shraddha has earlier swum from Kanpur to Allahabad when she was just nine. Among her peers, she is popular as 'jalpari', or mermaid, for her accomplishments.
On her new feat, eight divers are accompanying Shraddha. A doctor has also joined the team to handle any emergency. "The current is very strong and the river is in spate, so we cannot take any chances" her father Lalit Shukla said, reports Zee News.