Women Newsreaders Of The ’70s-’90s On Doordarshan – Where Are They Now?

Posted: August 7, 2018

These women newsreaders became household names at a time when watching news on TV was as exciting as watching movies. Where are they now?

Back when there were no choices of channels to surf through, there was Doordarshan. And the best part about it were the newsreaders and anchors who, with their refreshing style, skill, and persona, won the hearts of all Indians who watched them. Apart from being a source of news and information about India over all lengths and breadths, these newsreaders were also looked upon for their proficiency in English as well as Hindi.

Late 1960s was the time when a group of women newsreaders became synonymous with television news, some of them were Salma Sultan, Rini Simon, Dolly Thakore, Usha Albuquerque. The process of news broadcasting evolved and these anchors went on with their lives. Here’s a glimpse of their life after Doordarshan:

Salma Sultan

The enigmatic newsreader worked as a Doordarshan journalist for as long as thirty years, wherein she retained her signature rose tucked behind her ear.

Following her retirement, she went on to direct television serials like Swar Mere Tumhare, Panchtantra Se, Jalte Sawal and Suno Kahani, under her own production house Lensview Private Limited. She had two children with her late husband Aamir Kidwai, and now lives at her south Delhi residence.

Dolly Thakore

Trained for her profession in radio and television with BBC London, Dolly Thakore is a woman of many talents. While being a newsreader with Doordarshan she also wrote columns and reviewed theatre plays and movies for leading newspapers and magazines.

She now works with NGOs like Association for Leprosy, National Scholarship Council, Citizens for Peace among others. She has also been pursuing acting in the theatre productions of Death of a Salesman, A Streetcar Named Desire, Gaslight, and many more.

Luku Sanyal

The elegant newsreader breathed her last on August 7th 2017 – it has been exactly a year yesterday. She had been a junior lecturer at Mumbai’s KC College and later became the head of the English department of MMK College. She had also been involved in freelance writing, acting, speaking and voiceover work in India as well as abroad.

Usha Albuquerque

The erudite English newsreader also wrote for India’s leading news publications. Following her retirement, she has been extensively involved in career guidance and counselling with her volumes of The Penguin India Career Guide, writing regular columns on career advice for Hindustan Times among others, and becoming one of the founding members of Careers Smart. The documentary Seeds of Life produced by Albuquerque’s production company won India’s highest national film award.

Rini Simon Khanna

The former anchor’s voice is one that most of us have heard, since it echoes in all Delhi Metro rides we take – the one that reminds us to “mind the gap”. Her work as a voiceover artist is what defines her post-Doordarshan career, with a voice that features in advertisements, movies and prestigious national events such as the annual Republic Day commentary. She also anchors many national and international conferences and seminars for prestigious national and global organisations.

Neethi Ravindran

The leading newsreader from 1980s and 90s Doordarshan has been extensively involved in rendering her voice as a voiceover artist and making documentaries and short films. She is also the woman who behind Fifty Years of India’s Independence, an award-winning documentary made on behalf of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Images source: YouTube

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3 Comments


  1. This is such an interesting and unique topic, to write about. I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Can you dig up some info about Komal GB Singh please? Had a massive crush on her as a schoolboy… and so I am sure, did the rest of the nation’s urban youth at the time!

  3. interesting read..these women made a BIG change ..

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