Remembering Gitanjali Aiyar:  India’s Iconic News Presenter and Trailblazer

Gitanjali Aiyar

India mourns the loss of Gitanjali Aiyar, one of the country’s first English female news presenters on the national broadcaster Doordarshan. Aiyar, who passed away at the age of in her mid-70s, had a remarkable career that left an indelible mark on the broadcasting industry. Her contribution to journalism and her role in breaking gender barriers will always be remembered.

Aiyar’s passing came as a shock to her family and friends. Sources close to the family revealed that the award-winning anchor collapsed after returning home from a walk. Aiyar had been battling Parkinson’s disease, a condition she faced with courage and determination. A close friend of Aiyar mentioned that she had been under medication for her condition, and her sudden collapse was attributed to her ailment.

Born and raised in Kolkata, Gitanjali Aiyar completed her education at Loreto College before embarking on her career in the media industry. In 1971, she joined Doordarshan, where she made history as one of the first English female news presenters in the country. Her talent and professionalism quickly garnered attention, earning her the title of the best anchor four times. Her dedication and exceptional skills were recognized with the prestigious Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Outstanding Women in 1989.

Gitanjali Aiyar at Doordarshan

Apart from her broadcasting achievements, Aiyar also had a flair for the arts. As a diploma holder from the National School of Drama (NSD), she showcased her acting skills in Sridhar Kshirsagar’s popular TV drama “Khandaan.” Her presence in print advertisements further showcased her versatility and popularity among the masses. Aiyar’s talent and ability to connect with people transcended the boundaries of news presentation, making her a beloved figure across different platforms.

Gitanjali Aiyar’s influence extended beyond the realm of journalism. She was associated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), highlighting her commitment to environmental conservation and raising awareness about important ecological issues. Aiyar’s involvement with various causes exemplified her multifaceted personality and her desire to make a positive impact on society.

The news of Aiyar’s demise prompted an outpouring of condolences and tributes from notable personalities. Congress leader Netta D’Souza took to Twitter to express her sorrow, reminiscing about the days when Aiyar graced their TV screens and left an unforgettable impression on viewers. Journalist Sheela Bhatt also paid her respects, describing Aiyar as one of India’s best newsreaders—a warm and elegant person of immense substance.

Gitanjali Aiyar leaves behind a lasting legacy and a trail of inspiration for future generations. Her groundbreaking achievements as a female news presenter paved the way for many aspiring journalists, especially women, to follow their dreams and break societal barriers. Aiyar’s contributions to the field of journalism, her involvement in the arts, and her dedication to conservation will be remembered as a testament to her remarkable life.

As India bids farewell to this legendary news presenter, Gitanjali Aiyar’s memory will continue to live on, inspiring generations of journalists and serving as a reminder of the power of perseverance, talent, and a passion for making a difference in the world. May his soul rest in eternal peace and his loved ones find solace in his remarkable legacy.

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