J&K: Studio legend dies due to cardiac arrest during live show
For Jammu and Kashmir broadcasting legend Rita Jitendra, on Monday, died on the sets of a live morning show on Doordarshan at the age of 81.
The long-retired Rita, a Kashmiri Pandit married to a Jammu Dogra, was discussing her life and memories before the cameras when she suffered a cardiac arrest, began choking and died a few minutes later.
“She was telling us a few interesting things about her life and was looking absolutely normal,” the anchor of the show, Zahid Mukhtar, told reports.
“But suddenly she stopped talking and began having hiccups. We had to cut the interview (and switch to) a documentary to attend to her and take her to hospital.”
Mukhtar added: “She had a great association with television and her last words were on how she had started doing the dramas.”
Doctors at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital declared her dead on arrival.
Hafiza Muzaffar, Rita’s host in Srinagar, said that while Rita was being driven to the studio for the interview, she had told an accompanying Doordarshan official that she wanted her death to be like former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s.
“She told him that Dr Kalam had died while working. That is how she met her end too. She breathed her last in the studio itself,” Muzaffar, former secretary of the state women’s commission, said.