Google Doodle praises the 80th birthday celebration of Indian swimmer Arati Saha, an Olympic swimmer known for being the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel and the first Indian sportswoman to be awarded the Padma Shri, on September 24, 2020. Google Doodle is outlined by Kolkata native and visitor artist Lavanya Naidu.
Google Doodle artwork represents a route that Saha covered a breathtaking 42 miles from Cape Gris Nez, France to Sandgate, England to become the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel—an accomplishment considered the swimming equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.
Here’s a look at the life and work of Indian swimmer Arati Saha.
- Birthdate: 24 September 1940
- Birthplace: Kolkata, Bengal, British India
- Died on: 23 August 1994 (aged 53)
- Death place: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- Father name: Panchugopal Saha
- Spouse: Dr. Arun Gupta
- Children: Archana
- Sun Sign: Libra
- Nationality: Indian
- Famous As: Swimmer, Sportswoman
- Notable award: Padma Shri in 1960
25 Interesting Facts about Arati Saha
- Born in Calcutta, West Bengal, British India, Arati had been acquainted with swimming at the early age of four.
- Arati Saha was an Indian long-distance swimmer, most popular for becoming the first Asian woman to swim over the English Channel on 29 September 1959.
- Seeing his girl’s interest in swimming, Panchugopal Saha admitted his little girl to the Hatkhola Swimming Club.
- In 1946, at five years old, Arati Saha won the gold in 110 yards freestyle at the Shailendra Memorial Swimming Competition.
- Arati Saha won 22 state swimming competitions in West Bengal from 1945-51.
- In 1948, she partook in the national championship held at Mumbai. She won silver in 100 meters freestyle and 200 meters breast-stroke and won bronze in 200 meters freestyle.
- Arati Saha made an all-India record in 1949.
- At the 1951 West Bengal state meet, she timed 1 moment 37.6 seconds in 100 meters breast-stroke and broke Dolly Nazir’s all-India record.
- Arati Saha represented India at the 1952 Summer Olympics alongside comrade Dolly Nazir.
- Arati Saha was one of the four women participants and the youngest member of the Indian contingent. At the Olympics, she took part in 200 meters breast-stroke event.
- After getting back from the Olympics, she lost in 100 meters freestyle to her sister Bharati Saha. After the misfortune, she focused distinctly on breast-stroke.
- Arati Saha got the first inspiration to cross the English Channel from Brojen Das.
- Brojen Das proposed the name of Arati to the coordinators of the Butlin International Cross Channel Swimming Race for the following year’s event.
- On 24 July 1959, Arati Saha left for England alongside her manager Dr. Arun Gupta.
- The race was planned on 27 August 1959 from Cape Gris Nez, France to Sandgate, England. Be that as it may, the pilot boat of Arati Saha didn’t show up in time. She needed to begin late by 40 minutes and lost the good condition. While she was as yet resolved to continue, she needed to stop under tension from her pilot.
- Notwithstanding the disappointment, Arati Saha was resolved not to surrender. She set herself up for a second attempt.
- On 29 September 1959, Arati Saha made her second attempt. Beginning from Cape Gris Nez, France, she swam for 16 hours and 20 minutes, batting intense waves and covered 42 miles to reach Sandgate, England.
- On 30 September, the All India Radio declared the success of Arati Saha.
- Arati Saha had finished her Intermediate from City College. Her gifted ability was spotted by Sachin Nag, and later she was inspired by the ace Indian swimmer Mihir Sen to attempt to cross the English Channel.
- In 1959, under the supervision of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, she wedded her manager, Dr. Arun Gupta.
- In 1960, Arati Saha became the first Indian sportswoman to be awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor in India.
- She and Canadian swimmer Marilyn Bell are both known for swimming across the English Channel.
- On 4 August 1994, Arati Saha got admitted to a private nursing home in Kolkata with jaundice and encephalitis. After fighting for 19 days, she died on 23 August 1994.
- In 1999, the Department of Posts praised her victory by drawing out a postage stamp of ₹ 3 denomination.
- On September 24, 2020, Google celebrated Arati Saha’s 80th Birthday with Google Doodle.