New Delhi: 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 Gitanjali Aiyar.
Graduated from Kolkata’s Loreto College, Gitanjali 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, Gitanjali 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).
She also presented popular shows related to taking English song requests – A Date With You – on Friday nights on All India Radio.
She ventured into corporate communications, government liaison and marketing after having decades-long career in the news industry. She was the head of major donors at the World Wide Fund, India.
Gitanjali Aiyar is survived by a son and daughter Pallavi Aiyar, who is also an award-winning journalist.