Eminent Doordarshan news reader Gitanjali Aiyar no more
Gitanjali Aiyar, one of India’s first English female news presenters on national broadcaster Doordarshan, passed away on Wednesday. She was in her mid-70s.
Sources close to her family said, she was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and collapsed after returning home from a walk.
“She had Parkinson’s disease and was on medication. She collapsed after returning home from a walk,” a close friend of Aiyar told PTI.
One of the earliest female faces of news anchoring on Indian television, Aiyar, a pass-out from Kolkata’s Loreto College, joined the channel in 1971, beginning a career that lasted for the next 30 years.
She was feted with the best anchor award four times during her career.
She also won the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Outstanding Women in 1989.
Besides presenting news programmes, Aiyar, a diploma holder from the National School of Drama (NSD), had also been a popular face in several print advertisements and even acted in Sridhar Kshirsagar’s TV drama Khandaan.
In her decades-long illustrious career, she was also associated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Several noted personalities took to Twitter to condole the demise of the eminent personality.
“We fondly remember the days when Gitanjali Aiyar ji graced our TV screens, leaving an indelible mark on our news-watching experiences. Saddened by her untimely demise, my heartfelt condolences to her loved ones. May she find eternal peace,” tweeted Congress leader Netta DSouza.
“Gitanjali Aiyar, India’s one of the best TV newsreaders, warm and elegant person and woman of immense substance passed away today. Deepest condolences to her family,” tweeted journalist Sheela Bhatt.
Aiyar is survived by a son and daughter Pallavi Aiyar, who is also an award-winning journalist.
(With inputs from agencies)