Mihir Sen was the greatest long distance Indian swimmer. He is the First Asian to swim the English Channel in 1958. Mihir was the first swimmer who swam and crossed the Palk Straits in 1966. He was the first man who crossed various continents’ water bodies by swimming. He was a lawyer by profession. He crossed every obstacle in his way. He was the first Indian swimmer to swim in 5 different continents across 5 different seas in 1 year. He was best known as the long distance Indian swimmer.
Early Life of Mihir Sen:
Mihir Sen was born in a Bengali Brahmins family on 16th November 1930 in Purulia west Bengal. He was born in a poor middle class. He was one of the eminent swimmers of India. His father’s name was Ramesh Sen Gupta and mother’s name was Lilabati Sen Gupta. His father was a doctor. Mihir grew up in the different cities of Bihar and Orissa. When he was 8 years old, his family moved to Cuttack, Orissa as there were better schools. From his childhood, he wanted to complete his studies in England. He completed his Law degree from Utkal University. The chief minister of Orissa helped him to complete his higher education in England. In 1950, he was given a one way ticket with some money by the chief minister Biju Patnaik.
Mihir started his career in England as a member of the bar. He also worked with an Indian Agency. He had plenty of time to further study at night. His career in swimming started when he read an article about Female swimmers of America. She swam across the English Channel in 1950. He was highly motivated with the lady and decided to do something similar like her.
Mihir started training in England at the YMCA. He practiced really hard to become a good swimmer. His dedication towards learning swimming made all his teachers to love him from the bottom of their heart. He was very famous among all of his colleagues at the bar. He attempts many times to cross the English Channel. Finally in 1958, he swam across the English Channel. He became the first Asian to swim the English Channel. He was much appreciated.
He gained fame in the whole world by swimming the English Channel. He crossed the English Channel in just 14 hours and 45 minutes. He swam across 5 different continents. In 1966, he started swimming between India and Sri Lanka i.e. across the Palk Strait. Also, he crossed the Straits of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco in August and became the first Asian who crossed the Straits of Gibraltar. He took 8 hour and 1 minute to cover this. Again, he became the world’s first man to swim 40-mile length across the Strait of Dardanelles in 13 hours and 55 minutes in the month of September. Consequently, he also became the first Indian to swim the Bosphorus in 4 hours and the first Non-American to swim 50-mile length across the entire Panama Canal in 34 hours and 15 minutes in the same year.
His Awards and Achievements:
In 1956, Mihir was awarded the Padma Shri Award. In 1967, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan by Indira Gandhi as the highest civilian. In the same year, he won the Blitz Nehru Trophy for conquering the seven seas of the world.
In the later stage of his life, Mihir suffered from Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Due to which, his career ended and he died at the age of 66 In the year 1997. Mihir did many things in his life. He attempted many expeditions around the world. He was also a Successful Businessman. His company was the 2nd largest exporter of Silk. His financial situation got unstable. He lost everything in the end. His name was also mentioned in the Guinness book of world records.
Mihir Sen was very hard working and was among the eminent swimmers of India. He was the long distance Indian swimmer and was the First Asian to swim the English Channel. He impressed the whole world with his amazing work. Mihir was the 1st man to swim in 5 different continents across 5 different seas in a year. He was a highly motivating and inspiring person. There are many people on this earth, who are still talking about his courage and passion. He was a true hero of India.