Arati Saha was an Indian long distance swimmer, best known for becoming the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel on 29 September 1959. In 1960, she became the first Indian sportswoman to be awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour in India. Born in Calcutta, West Bengal, British India, Arati had been introduced to swimming at the early age of four. Her precocious talent was spotted by Sachin Nag, and later she was inspired by the ace Indian swimmer Mihir Sen to try to cross the English Channel.
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