Arati Saha – Indian Swimming Champion
Arati Saha is one of the youngest female swimmers to represent India at the international level. She was born to a middle-class military family. She lost her mother at the age of 02. She was taken care of & raised by her grandmother.
Her relation with swimming
She got an interest in swimming when she accompanied her uncle to Champatala Ghat. Kolkata. Also, she learned swimming in the ghat too. Seeing her interest her uncle admitted her in the Hatkola Swimming Club at the age of 04. The next year at the age of 05 she won gold in a 100 yards swimming competition.
Professional Sports Career
This young girl from the east of India won 22 state-level golds between 1945 to 1951. She was a specialist in 100m freestyle, 200m breaststroke & 300m breaststroke. In 1948 she participated in the national swimming event & broke the record of the reigning champion. Later at the age of 12, she represented India in the Summer Olympics of 1952. On 29 September 1959, at the age of 19, she swam across the English Channel. Arati Saha covered 67 km in 16 hrs 20 mins, remarkable feet. Therefore she became the first Asian women to swim across the English Channel.
- One of the youngest professional swimmers.
- Represented India in the Olympics.
- First Asian woman to swim across the English Channel.
- Awarded Padma Shree in 1960.
- India Post dedicated an Rs. 3 stamps to her in 1999.
- Has a statue & lane to her name near her residence.
- Google dedicated a doodle on her 80th birthday, making the world see her remarkable achievements.