Who Was Gitanjali Aiyar, One Of India’s First English News Anchors On Doordarshan?

New Delhi: Gitanjali Aiyar, who was one of India’s first English female news presenters on national broadcaster Doordarshan, passed away on Wednesday. The renowned anchor was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and collapsed after returning home from a walk, sources close to the family said. Several political leaders including Union Minister Anurag Thakur and noted personalities took to Twitter to condole the demise of the eminent anchor.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Gitanjali Aiyar, one of the first and finest English news anchors on Doordarshan and All India Radio,” Anurag Thakur, the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, said in a tweet.

He added that Aiyar was a ‘trailblazer and pioneer’, who brought ‘credibility, professionalism, and a distinct voice’ to every news report.

Gitanjali Aiyar graduated from Kolkata’s Loreto College

Graduated from Kolkata’s Loreto College, Aiyar joined Doordarshan in 1971 and was awarded the best anchor four times. 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).