Hyderabad woman swims across Palk Strait | Sunday Observer

Hyderabad woman swims across Palk Strait

28 March, 2021

‘Mark Twain’ noted “age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter”. Syamala Goli, a 47 year old Indian swimmer who goes into the history book as the world’s second woman to have swum across the 30 mile-Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka, bears testimony to the statement of ‘Mark Twain’, one of the greatest American writers of all time.

Goli has been able to be a source of great inspiration and a tower of strength for anybody, particularly the women who tend to abandon and shatter their hopes, dreams and aspirations due to their pessimistic thoughts on ageing. She became a household name overnight notably, among the women folk in the Indian subcontinent over her courageous and fearless battle to conquer the world of swimming, which gave her popularity and acclaim, despite being the oldest competing with those as young as 15-20 years.

Crossing the Ganges

Representing her hometown of Hyderabad, Syamala Goli became the first woman swimmer to have crossed the river Ganges at the 12th National Takshila Open Water Long Distance Ganga Swimming Competition in Patna, Bihar which concluded on November 10, 2020. At the encounter, having competed with 40 others, she became the sixth.

She was seen crossing 13 kilometres in one hour and 50 minutes. Her starting point was the Siva Ghat and the finishing line was the Law College Ghat of the river Ganges. Following her history making achievement, Goli said, “I feel very satisfied because initially I was apprehensive whether I could pull it off, but as the race started, I gathered my thoughts and gave it my best shot.”

She is of the belief that your mind is empowered with the strength and capacity of taking over and executing the adventures as long as you are not discouraged over the hardships and obstacles encountered during the run up to the achievement of your goal.

Goli was initially not allowed to participate in the competition, owing to the fact that the organisers of the competition were of the belief that her age would not be apt to compete in an adventurous and audacious swimming competition. But a decision of such nature did not discourage the spirit, interest and devotion with which Goli was heavily immersed.

Challenging the beliefs

Amid resistance and demotivation by the attitudes of some people, Goli won her battle of getting herself approved to participate in the competition. Goli’s efforts and the timing reported during the competition were remarkable.

Goli is one of the examples which demonstrate the fact that your inner most interest, enthusiasm, the sense of heroism, the feeling of adventure and the willingness to explore the hidden potential of yourself are the genuine factors which contribute towards the path of success regardless of the fact that how old you are.