Polio crippled youth swims in Ganga at Varanasi | india | Hindustan Times
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Polio crippled youth swims in Ganga at Varanasi

india Updated: May 15, 2011 10:53 IST
Anuraag Singh/HTC
Anuraag Singh/HTC
Hindustan Times
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Crippled by polio since childhood a youngster from Ballia district of East UP is presently catching stares in Varanasi.

Laxmi Sahani, an intermediate pass out from Hatpur village of Ballia district, who is presently awaiting admission in graduation, is an inspirational character at imposing Ganga Ghats in Varanasi now.

On Saturday morning, Laxmi walked with support of hands and knees (wearing rubber slippers in hand) to the Assi Ghat.

At the Assi Ghat, Laxmi then ventured into river Ganga slowly and swam not for a few minutes, but nearly two hours with consummate ease, catching the stares of one and all present at the majestic riverfront. Not only did the brave heart from Ballia swim midway in the national river, but stayed there performing many acrobatics.

He first read a Hindi newspaper while performing back-stroke, followed by chappati and curry in breakfast served in a steel plate and finally consumed one full soft drink bottle also while remaining buoyant in the back-stroke. Not only back-stroke, but Laxmi also swam freestyle with same aplomb in the sacred river.

'I learnt how to swim in my village only, despite both my legs being crippled with polio. I've swam both rivers, Ganga and Ghaghra rivers in Ballia and now want to showcase my skills in the national river at Varanasi,' Laxmi said after the successful swim in Ganga river at Assi Ghat for nearly two hours.

When asked about how managed to remain buoyant in the river, despite both his legs being crippled, Laxmi said if I can walk with my knees and hands, I can swim also in the same manner.

Aiming to gatecrash into Limca Book of Records, the Ballia youth said 'I aim to make a mark in the every record book with the grit and determination, which has helped me remain afloat in any water stream I've swam till now,' the youngster added.

Laxmi said his ultimate dream is to cross the English Channel one day.