Google Doodle tributes ‘Jalpari of India’ Arati Saha on her 80th Birth Anniversary
New Delhi: Google celebrates special occasions and pay tribute to eminent personality with its Google Doodle.Today, Google Doodle is celebrating 80th birth anniversary of famous Indian swimmer Arati Saha. The ‘Jalpari of India’, was shown crossing the English Channel. She was the m first Asian female swimmer to cross the English Channel. In the field of swimming, English Channel is considered equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. She covered this distance of 67.5 kilometers in 16 hours and 20 minutes.
Aarti Saha was born on 24 September 1940 in Kolkata. She won her first swimming gold medal just at the age of 5. Saha learned to swim on the banks of the Hooghly River. She later trained under the supervision of one of the India’s best competitive swimmers, Sachin Nag.
Saha was the youngest member of the first team to represent the newly independent India at the Summer Olympics held in Helsinki, Finland in 1952. She was only 11 years old during the summer olympics.
Saha made her first attempt at crossing the English Channel at the age of 18 but unfortunately failed. However, she did not give up, a month later, on 29 September 1959, Aarti Saha, in a second attempt, showed the ability to cross the English Channel within 16 hours and 20 minutes even after hit by waves and strong currents.
Aarti Saha was honored with Padma Shri in 1960. She was the first woman to receive the Padma Shri Award. India Post also released a postage stamp in the year 1998 to inspire women from their lives. Aarti died on 24 September 1994 at the age of 53.
The English Channel is the longest and coldest stream of water that separates South England and Northern France. This English channel connects the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Due to low temperature and swimming difficulties, it is called ‘Mount Everest of Swimming’.