Jammu: Kashmir`s first woman radio announcer Shanta Kaul, who shot to fame for her character `Appa Jaan` in Radio Kashmir, passed away at a hospital in Pune following a brief illness. She was 83.
Kaul, survived by her renowned broadcaster and writer husband Pran Kishore and four children, died at Jahangir Hospital yesterday, family sources said on Sunday.
She started her career with Radio Kashmir in 1950 since its inception and remained associated with the broadcaster for over four decades.
Her mellifluous voice as the character Appa Jaan in the weekly `Bachon ka Programme`, which she produced and presented, made her the darling of the state`s children whom she enthralled for 25 long years.
Kaul was amongst the first women to defy orthodoxy and fight for women’s emancipation to take to broadcasting and be in the cultural forefront of Kashmir Valley.
She was also the first woman actor on stage in the famous play ‘Shaheed Shervani’ written by Prem Nath Pardesi and staged in 1950.
Kaul`s popularity transcended the national border as well with her programme `Aap ki Farmaish` earning her admirers in Pakistan.
For her service in the broadcasting industry she received several awards, including the Bakshi Memorial Award for the Best Broadcaster in 1989.
A prolific writer, she published several poems and stories which were also broadcast across stations of AIR, including the National Channel.
Her collection of short stories, `Kaali Raat Ka Suraj`, was released last year in Srinagar by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while her latest collection of poems ‘Lamha Lamha Katra Katra’ was under publication, the sources added.