The Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has ordered an investigation into the alleged violation of rights of 12-year-old Shraddha Shukla (pictured above), who is expected to reach Varanasi on Tuesday after swimming 570 km in the Ganga from Kanpur. Committee chairperson Juhie Singh said she wrote to Kanpur District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma on Sunday after being informed about Shraddha's venture. Sharma, in turn, has handed over the inquiry to the additional city magistrate, he told The Indian Express.
However, Mumbai-based filmmaker Vinod Kapri, who filmed Shraddha's journey for a week, has claimed that the 12-year-old was covering most of the distance on a boat since she began her journey on August 28. "She used to swim before they approached a ghat or when there are people around. She used to spend rest of the time on the boat," he said.
Kapri has filed a complaint with the Mirzapur district police, alleging that her father Lalit Shukla had abused him and made threats to his life when he questioned why she was completing most of the journey on a boat. Lalit, however, explained that they pulled the girl out of the water after every 15-20 km to "apply cream on her body and give her something to eat". He added that they had made eight night halts before reaching Mirzapur on Sunday.
Shraddha's father also claimed that she had prepared for the journey for two months. He said she had swum the 280-km distance from Kanpur to Allahabad in 2014 and that the motive behind this tour was to spread the "Clean Ganga" message and also to check her capacity because she aims to participate in the Olympics.