Doodle celebrates Indian broadcaster and public servant Venu Chitale

Doodle celebrates Indian broadcaster and public servant Venu Dattatreye Chitale, widely remembered as an influential radio personality in the UK during World War II.

Venu Dattatreye Chitale
Venu Dattatreye Chitale

Venu Chitale, also known as Leela Ganesh Khare, was an Indian writer, BBC Radio broadcaster, and secretary to George Orwell during the early years of the Second World War. She was in England between 1934 and late 1947.

As a child, Chitale attended schools in Mumbai but eventually moved to England to study at both University College London and Oxford University.

During the years leading up to World War II, she volunteered at a local air raid shelter warning residents of imminent bombings and helping with rescue-and-aid missions.

Soon after, Chitale became secretary to George Orwell and a translator-broadcaster for the newly established Indian Section of BBC Radio’s Eastern Services in 1940.

Chitale masterfully integrated commentary that challenged stereotypes and misperceptions of Indians into her broadcasts.

She also frequently shared stories that brought awareness to the struggles of British women and children.