All at sea in life, yet he challenged the waves

All at sea in life, yet he challenged the waves

A gritty tale

Prakash Kharvi swimming with his hands cuffed behind. DH Photo

On Monday, the physically challenged 28-year-old took on another challenge and conquered it too. He swam 15 km with his hands cuffed behind his back, from St Mary’s Island to Malpe beach here.

With a leg useless, and handcuffed, Kharvi had the elements to struggle against - rough seas. That did not deter the man from Kodikanyana in Kota, although it took seven hours to conquer the tough task he set himself - starting at 7 am and finishing at 2 in the afternoon.
Why did he do it? To focus attention on his fighting spirit in the hope of securing a government job, is his succinct answer.

Speaking with mediapersons, Prakash admitted he was not sure if he would make it, but went ahead nevertheless. “I was able to reach my goal. The weather was rough that meant a longer time at sea,” he said, looking happy, although tired.

For Kharvi, his physical disability has not been a deterrent to get into the sea. In two years, he has set two swimming records. He swam 25 km from Hangarukatte to Malpe beach in 4 hours and 30 minutes on December 31, 2007, setting a new record for the disabled. On December 31, 2008, Kharvi swam 56 km - from Gangolli estuary to Kodikanyana beach in 7 hours.

Perhaps it was not symbolic, but it was a police officer, Mahesh Prasad who chained Kharvi’s hands behind his back. A large number of people who gathered at the Malpe beach to watch the event, applauded Kharvi’s feat.

It remains to be seen if the State Government too is equally appreciative.