ibnlive » India

Oct 13, 2011 at 09:26am IST

Record holder swim sisters but no sponsors!

New Delhi: Amidst the doom and gloom there are many Indians who are living examples of courage and decency and who believe in doing constructive work for a better future.

South Atlantic Ocean's temperature 9.4 degree celsius- icy, shark infested waters and only the toughest can attempt to take up this extreme challenge.

20-year-old Richa and her sister Reshmi believed they can and they did. These marathon swim sisters made a record completing the coldest solo crossing from Robben Island to Blouberg at Cape town in less than three hours fighting the ocean, braving the icy cold waters, burying the nagging thought.

What if there's a shark creeping up from behind. Richa fainted when she reached the shores, her body had given away to extreme cold.

Richa said, "I fainted when I landed on the beach, my eyes were open but my mind was blank. I have no memory. My senses returned after 5 hours."

Her sister Reshmi said, "It was my the toughest swim of my life. There were weeds and corals everywhere. And on top of that there were sharks. When I was 800 metres away I started feeling the cold. I thought that's it but then I thought it's just 800 metres and I can't give up now."

Richa and Reshmi are also the first sisters in the world to have conquered the Indian ocean. With no facilities, no infrastructure these girls had spent hours practicing in this dirty neighbourhood pool where people bath and water is forever dirty.

A middle class family where passion is a luxury. Their father is a retired naval officer and always wanted his two girls to dare to dream big.

Father Vipan Sharma said, "I told them you only practice and leave the rest to me. The funding, the research, everything."

Dark clouds of uncertainty now loom over their future. With no sponsors, they fear that one day they might have to give up their passion.

Reshmi said, "My passion can't earn me my livelihood. I need to earn my living. It's difficult to get sponsors. My parents can't support us financially forever. If this situation continues I think I might have to give up.

But for now these two girls can smile their way through the waters as history waits to embrace them.