Papa, who works as a daily wager, learned swimming from her father when she was just five-years-old.

Swimmer Papa is seen standing on the top before jumping into the well.
news Human Interest Saturday, December 25, 2021 - 18:26

Age is just a number, proves 85-year-old Papa, who effortlessly dives into a deep well, a river or a lake for swimming, and teaches the skill to her students of all ages at Vennandur village of Rasipuram in Namakkal district. Papa lives in Thanga Salai of Vennandur village, and is already popular in her village. And as she showcased her swimming skills, Papa has recently become popular across Tamil Nadu. Gaining popularity with widespread media coverage, Papa now has many more new students who want to learn swimming from the octagenarian.

Papa, who works as a daily wager, learned swimming from her father when she was just five-years-old. The skill that she casually and effortlessly learned from her father has now given her a purpose. She says her motive is now to teach as many students as possible. Speaking about her hobby and how that turned into a goal for her, Papa says, “I learned different types of swimming from my father when I was just five-years-old. As he washed clothes near the stream, I would hold on to his shirt with one hand and perform strokes with the other hand.”

Though Papa initially looked at swimming only as a hobby, it later turned into a habit for her, once her acquaintance and villagers noticed and recognised her skill. “I taught swimming to my entire family, from my son, daughter, grandchildren and recently even to my great grandson. Upon seeing this, many of my friends, acquaintances and others in the village approached me to teach them the skill as well,” she says

“As swimming is dear to me I was unable to say no. And overtime, teaching swimming to all my students has become my goal at 85 years old. I have students from ages — from five to 40,” she says.

Speaking about his mother, Papa’s son says that despite her age or the weather, she is always excited to go swimming. “Amma can perform all kinds of swimming from freestyle, side stroke, backstroke and more. She is truly an inspiration to everyone here,” he says.  

Swinner Papa with her students. 

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