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. The award-winning anchor, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, collapsed after returning home from a walk, sources close to the family said. ”She had Parkinson’s disease and was on medication. She collapsed after returning home from a walk,” said a close friend of Aiyar.
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).
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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 D’Souza.
”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.