New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) None of the family members of Shikha Garg had imagined that they were seeing her for the last time when they left her at the airport on Saturday night for an assignment in Kenya.
All 157 people aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed soon after taking off on Sunday morning from Addis Ababa were killed, the airline had said Sunday. The plane, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, lost contact six minutes after taking off from Bole International Airport in the Ethiopian capital. Four among the dead were said to be Indians.
Shikha was United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) consultant to the Environment Ministry. Her family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours alike recall how cheerful and jovial person she was.
The housing society in Rohini where, Shikha's parents live, was drowned in sorrow with memories of Shikha, who got married only three months ago.
Her relatives, friends, colleagues visited the family to express their support in the time of tragedy. "She left for the airport late on Saturday night as she had to catch a flight. We are still struggling to come to terms with the fact that she is not among us anymore," said a close relative, who wished not to be named.
"She was a very nice human being, always there to help," he said.
He said he rushed to Delhi as soon as he learnt about the accident. Shikha's husband works in the United National Environment Programme (UNEP) and her father is a businessman.
"Her husband and us were in touch with the airliner and kept a tab on every development online. We came to know about her death after the Environment Minister tweeted about it," the relative said.
The family members have requested the airline to find out her belongings and remains.
A neighbour said the entire neighbourhood was filled with grief, and that he could still remember cheerful Shikha getting married just three months ago.
"It is a very sad situation," he said.
Shikha studied from the TERI University and was pursuing Ph.D From IIT Delhi. Shikha worked with Indian Meteorological Department before she joined the UNDP about two years ago, he said.
Rishi Kaushik, a colleague of Shikha in the ministry, said she was working on several projects, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
"She was working on her projects. It is very hard to believe that she is no more. She was a very nice human being, always willing to work," said Kaushik, a section officer at International Cooperation Division of the Environment Ministry.
Many officials from the ministry also visited Shikha's parents to express their condolences and support.