Doordarshan, the State-owned television channel in India, is reporting the death of Pratima Puri, the channel’s first news reader, when it went on air in 1959.
Born Vidya Rawat, Puri belonged to a Gorkha family settled at Laal Paani in Simla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, according to a report in The Tribune earlier this year.
She worked at the All India Radio (AIR) station in Simla before being transferred to New Delhi when AIR telecast its first television news bulletin on September 15, 1959, from a makeshift studio in the capital.
“Good-looking and good-voiced (sic) Pratima was selected as an announcer, maybe a newsreader, but was definitely the first face on the small screen in India,” the Tribune report said.
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Her is name stuck in the mind of of all the personalities one has watched growing up in India in the 60s and 70s. Sad to hear she has passed away. I think she had the poise and calmness in her voice.
May her soul rest in peace.
Doordarshan (DD National) start 15th September 1959