New Delhi: One of India’s first English news presenter Gitanjali Aiyar passed away on Wednesday, 7 June. Remembered for her poise, erudite delivery and enunciation, Delhi-based Aiyar died of brain haemorrhage. She was 72 and had been ailing for a while. Aiyar is survived by son Shekhar and daughter Pallavi, both of them based in the US.
“She had Parkinson’s disease and was on medication. She collapsed after returning home from a walk,” said a close friend of Gitanjali Aiyar. Meanwhile, people are taking to Twitter to pay condolences to Aiyar and remembering the news presenting days during her time.
About Gitanjali Aiyar
- Aiyar, began her career in the TV news industry, when she joined Doordarshan in 1976 after completing her graduation from Kolkata’s Loreto College in ‘71.2. B
- Besides news, Aiyar was also involved in theatre and also obtained a diploma from the National School of Drama.
- She also won the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Outstanding Women in 1989.
- Aiyar grew up by observing people like Surojit Sen and Pamela Singh reading news on the radio, and was greatly influenced by them, a report in Indian Express said.
- After her graduation in 1971, Aiyar auditioned at AIR and joined the English news section.
- She presented popular shows related to taking English song requests A Date With You on Friday nights on All India Radio.
- She moved to DD in 1976. In 1982, when DD became national and colour TV came to India, newsreaders found recognition on the streets.
- Aiyar became vastly influential across the country in the mid 1970s, before which Doordarshan only offered programmes like Chitrahaar and Krishi Darshan.
- She has also been apopular face in several print advertisements and even acted in Sridhar Kshirsagar’s TV drama “Khandaan”.
- After her career in the news industry, Aiyar ventured into corporate communications, government liaison and marketing. She was the head of major donors at the World Wide Fund, India.