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Popular DD National News Anchor “Gitanjali Aiyar” Passes away at 71

Gitanjali Aiyar, one of the finest news anchors in the country, breathed her last in Delhi on Wednesday. The 71-year-old, who had been unwell for some time. Popular Anchor Gitanjali was widely recognized for contributing to DD National News.

Gitanjali Aiyar, a well-known face of the 9 p.m. prime-time news on Doordarshan, was among the respected news presenters of her time. Along with her fellow colleagues on DD National News, she brought elegance and dignity to television news, unlike the current trend of intense debates and raised voices. DD News Anchor Gitanjali was skilled at delivering news with fluency and clarity. During her era, teachers would encourage students to listen to Gitanjali, Neethi Ravindran, and Rini Simon to improve their English, and news anchors maintained a neutral tone.

Those were the times when news studios didn’t have teleprompters, and even when they were introduced, they would sometimes malfunction during live broadcasts. However, Gitanjali remained unfazed by such challenges. She was renowned not only for her flawless accent but also for her composed and poised demeanor.

After beginning her career at All India Radio, Gitanjali became an Anchor of Doordarshan (DD News) in 1971. Throughout her time with the channel, she earned the esteemed title of the best anchor on four occasions. Additionally, she received the prestigious Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Outstanding Women in 1989.

Cast in teleserial

Gitanjali’s passion for becoming a news reader started when she was just six years old. Even during her school days, she excelled in elocution events, and as soon as she completed her studies at Kolkata’s Loreto College, she stepped into the news industry. Gitanjali’s accomplishments also included holding a diploma from the National School of Drama, which allowed her to explore opportunities beyond news presenting. She had the opportunity to act in the popular Doordarshan teleserial called “Khandaan,” which gained immense popularity in the mid-1980s.

During her heyday, Gitanjali became so popular that she appeared in commercials for Solidaire television and Marmite. The tagline of the Solidaire advertisement, “that seldom fails,” perfectly resonated with Gitanjali’s persona, as she always maintained her composure even when technology glitches occurred in the early days of Doordarshan.

After bidding farewell to Doordarshan, Gitanjali explored the field of corporate communications. She took on the role of a consultant at the Confederation of Indian Industry and also worked with the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

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