The Periyar River in Kerala. Photo: iStock

In an effort to reduce local drowning deaths by encouraging other young people to learn how to swim, a disabled teenager crossed the 200-metre-wide Periyar River from Adwaithasramam to Manalppuram in 32 minutes. 

According to reports, 13-year-old Adith, who has suffered from hearing and speech impairment from birth, began learning to swim just 24 days before with the help of his coach, Saji Valasseril, who gave him non-verbal instructions.

“Periyar has been witnessing a rise in the number of drowning deaths over the past few years, and Adith wants to tell the world that anybody can conquer it,” Saji was quoted as saying.

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