Arati Saha

"'Arati Gupta

(Saha)"' (24 September 1940 - 23 August 1994) was born in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. Arati was initiated in swimming at the early age of four, and her talent was spotted by Sachin Nag. From 1945 to 1951 she won 22 State competitions including an all-India record in 1949. She took part in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 along with "Dolly Nazir."She was inspired by Indian swimmer Mihir Sen to try and cross the English Channel.On 29 September 1959 she was the first woman from Asia to swim the English Channel, from Cape Gris Nez, France to Sandgate, England. She swam the 42 miles in 16 hours 20 minutes, and hoisted the flag of India at Sandgate. She was awarded "Padmashri" in the year 1960. She died on 23 August 1994 of jaundice. In 1998, a set of Indian stamps was issued to commemorate the contribution of Indian women in various fields, including Arati Gupta.

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