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Arati Saha was the first woman from India to swim English Channel.

First Indian Woman to Swim Across English Channel

Arati Saha was the first Indian woman to swim across English Channel. She achieved this feat on 29 September 1959. Arati Saha swam 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. For her achievement Arati Saha was awarded Padmashri in the year 1960. Arati Saha was also the first Asian woman to swim across English Channel. Later, Anita Sood became the fastest Asian woman to cross English Channel.

Arati Saha was born on 24 September 1940 in Kolkata, West Bengal. Right from her childhood, she was interested in swimming. From 1945 to 1951 she won 22 State competitions including an all-India record in 1949. She also took part in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. Arati Saha died of jaundice on 23 August 1994. In 1998, Indian government issued a stamp in her memory.

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