Google doodle celebrates the birthday of Indian swimmer Arati Saha
- Arati Saha won her first swimming gold medal when she was five
- She was the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel
- She represented India in the 1952 Summer Olympics
Google on Thursday paid tribute to Indian long-distance swimmer Arati Saha on her 80th birthday with a doodle. Saha was the first female recipient of the Padma Shri award.
Born on September 24, 1940, in Kolkata, Saha learned to swim across the Hooghly river when she was just four. She won her first swimming gold medal when she was five.
Saha was the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel which is considered to be a swimming equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. The doodle depicts her iconic 42 miles coverage from Cape Gris Nez, France to Sandgate, England at the 1958 Butlin International Cross Channel Swimming Race.
Saha became the youngest member on the first team to represent independent India in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki at the age of 11. She was one of the four women who took part in the Olympics.
On August 4, 1994, she got admitted to a nursing home in Kolkata with jaundice and encephalitis. After battling for 19 days, she died on August 23, 1994.
Saha also became the first female recipient of the Padma Shri award in 1960.
Google is celebrating her birth anniversary for her contribution to inspire women across the world. The doodle's illustration is drawn by Lavanya Naidu, an artist from Kolkata.