Indian scribes' association honours former BBC journalist

London, Dec 16 (IANS) Sir Charles Wheeler, who covered India for the BBC in the late fifties and early sixties, has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously by the Indian Journalists' Association (IJA) here.

The award was accepted by his daughters Shirin and Marina Wheeler at an IJA Christmas dinner over the weekend. Wheeler was BBC's correspondent in Delhi from 1958 to 1962.

IJA, which was set up in 1947, instituted the annual award three years ago. In the first two years, the prize went to Dicky Rutnagur and S. Nihal Singh. Wheeler is the first Briton to receive the recognition, the IJA said in a statement.

His daughters described this as "a great honour as it came from his professional peers".

The trophy - a Waterford crystal bowl - was presented by Indian High Commissioner Jaimini Bhagwati.

Wheeler covered significant developments from India like the 1962 Chinese invasion, the Dalai Lama's arrival in 1959 and Queen Elizabeth II's first state visit in 1961. He also covered the Emergency and the general election in 1977.

Other than his stint in India, Wheeler did postings in Berlin while the city was still divided and where his daughters were born and Washington during the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and Watergate.

While serving in India, he fell in love with Dip Singh, whom he married. She now lives in Sussex county. Wheeler died of cancer in 2008 at the age of 85.


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