11 YO Blind Student Swims Across River To Raise Awareness About Drowning In Kochi

Life is full of difficulties. Especially for people with disabilities who have to fight against prejudices every single day. But irrespective of what life or society throws at them, they always emerge as winners. Like 31-year-old Pranjal Patil who is India’s first blind woman IAS officer or 23-year-old Tapaswini Das who lost her eyesight in Class 2 but cracked the Civil Services exams under general category in the first attempt. And, honestly, it’s their grit and determination that helps them achieve their goals.

According to a report by The New Indian Express, 11-year-old R Manoj, a student of School For The Blind, swam across a river in Kochi. Recently, many people had gathered at Aluva Manappuram to attend trainer Saji Vaalasseril’s swimming class. Hundreds had also come to catch a glimpse of Manoj who was getting ready to swim across the Periyar river from Advaita Ashram to Aluva Manappuram.

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Blind by birth, Manoj has been training under Saji for a month. He was very relaxed and confident about the initiative. “Navaneeth, one of my seniors, was the first blind person to swim across Periyar. That was my inspiration to study swimming,” he was quoted saying. Navaneeth was also Saji’s student.

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The initiative was flagged off around 8.00 am by Swami Swaroopananda Swamikal, head of Advaita Ashram. Manoj’s teachers along with his friends from school cheered for him during the event. The school’s band played continuously to motivate their dearest friend.

“We hear about many cases of drowning. Everyone needs to study swimming so that such fatalities can be avoided. My initiative was to make people aware of this,” Manoj was quoted saying.

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Manoj successfully completed his swim and reached his destination around 8.45 am. He was welcomed by spectators with loud cheers and applauses. Saji, who has been training people for free for the past 11 years, said he was very proud of Manoj’s achievement. He also said that training Manoj was easy.

Congratulations to the talented boy for his achievement. And, we hope he continues to fulfill all his dreams successfully.

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