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The youngest girl in Kerala to swim across Vembanad lake

Gayathri Praveen

Vembanad lake, Kerala’s largest lake, today witnessed a rare feat when a six-year-old girl swam across it covering 4.5 kms. Gayathri Praveen, a first standard student of Canadian Central School at Puthupaddy in Ernakulam district, became the youngest girl in the state to swim across Vembanad lake.

She covered a 4.5-km-wide lake swimming non-stop in one hour 45 minutes. Hundreds of people greeted the young child, a native of Varappetty in Kothamangalam.

She started off at 8 am from Thavanakkadavu in Cherthala in Alappuzha district and finished at Vaikom in Kottayam district. Her father Praveen K R and mother Chinchu Praveen waited with bated breath as their daughter successfully completed the feat.

“We never knew that she had the guts to do such a thing. It was only a year ago we sent her for swimming training along with her brother Arjun P Nair. Her trainer Biju Thankapan spotted her talent in swimming,” said Praveen. He said the child had undergone nearly six months of training at Kothamangalam river to take up this challenge. “We brought her and showed her the lake a few days back. She wasn’t afraid of the vastness of the lake. She told me that she would do it and it gave me confidence,” Praveen said.

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