Shraddha Shukla is just 11 years old, but what she is attempting to do belies her tender age. The Kanpur girl is aiming to swim 570kms – from Kanpur to Varanasi – in the monsoon-fed swollen Ganga river with an aim to set a national record.
The distance is equivalent to 13 Olympic marathon courses on land. A marathon course’s distance is 42.195km. Shraddha is planning to cover the distance in 10 days, with an aim of swimming 60km per day. She will be taking refreshments and washroom breaks.
Sharaddha started swimming from the age of one and her father Lalit is her coach. During her swimming adventure, Shraddha’s father and divers will follow her in a traditional boat.
“I am not nervous. I am excited and confident of completing the challenge. I am eyeing the national record,” she told Hindustan Times.
“After this, I will focus on achieving my dream of going to the Olympics and swimming through the English Channel.”
Shraddha is not new to long-distance swimming. She swam 10km from Ganga Barrage to Siddhnath ghat at age six and 6km from Kanpur to Unnao at seven, according to a report. She also swam to Allahabad from Massacre ghat in less than a week.