A commemorative postage stamp on Arati Saha, an Indian long distance swimmer and first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel :
Issued on Sep 29, 1999
Issued for : The Department of Posts, has over the years, commemorated the contribution of Indian women in various spheres, the struggle for independence, the social reform movement, the political field, education and other areas of nation building. In 1998, a special stamp was issued to commemorate the contribution of Indian women in the field of space technology and aviation. Through the stamp being issued today to commemorate the memory of Arati Gupta (Saha), one of the pioneering figures in women’s Aquatics, the achievements of outstanding Indian women in the field of sports is highlighted.
Design : The Stamp design portrays the legendary swimmer Arati Gupta (Saha) in action. The First Day Cover carries a photograph cherished by her, showing her with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister.
FDC : Based on materials furnished by sponsors.
Stamp : Ramesh Sukumar
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 300 Paise
Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.
Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated Stamp Paper in Sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Arati Gupta née Saha
Born on Sep 24, 1940 at Kolkata, Bengal, British India
Died on Aug 23, 1994 at Kolkata, West Bengal, India
- Arati Gupta (Saha) was born in Calcutta, West Bengal on 24th September, 1940. Arati was initiated in swimming at the early age of four, and her inherent talent was noticed by Sachin Nag, a swimming ace of yore. Becoming a member of the Hatkhola Swimming Club, her passionate involvement with the sport, led to outstanding achievements in the field. Between 1945 and 1951 she won 22 State Competitions with an all-India record in 1949. A landmark in her prodigious swimming career was her participation in Helsinki Olympics in 1952 along with Dolly Nazir.
- The crowning glory came in 1959 when she swam across the English Channel on 29th September, from Cape Gris Nez in France to Sandgate in England. She had to swim 42 miles and it took 16 hours 20 minutes. The ice-cold water could not make a dent in her courage and determination. She was the first woman in Asia to perform that outstanding and courageous feat. She brought glory not only to herself but also to the country when she hoisted the flag of India at Sandgate. The achievement was a culmination of long years of hard work, perseverance, devotion and determination. She was awarded ‘Padmashri’ in the year 1960, and in 1962, she married Dr. Arun Gupta. She succumbed to incurable Jaundice and passed away on 23rd August, 1994.
- Text : Based on materials furnished by sponsors.