"It is not over till it is over," says husband of Chandrika Sharma who was on Malaysian Airlines flight to Beijing
“It is not over till it is over.” Five days after his wife Chandrika Sharma boarded the Malaysian Airlines flight to Beijing, K.S. Narendran is guardedly optimistic.
Speaking to the media for the first time since the mysterious disappearance of the MH370 aircraft, he hit out at the Indian government for not “doing enough.”
Mr. Narendran said the Indian government had done little to provide adequate information, assistance or guidance to the families of the passengers on the flight. “The Indian High Commissioner in Malaysia has been calling me [up] on and off but there has been no communication from officials of the Indian government.”
His daughter, Meghna, a psychology student at Ambedkar University in New Delhi, was also present.
Mr. Narendran said an official of the Tamil Nadu Revenue Department sought information from the family a few days ago, but had not extended any assistance since.
He said the CEO of Malaysian Airlines had written to him, facilitating his travel to Kuala Lumpur. “But I can do that only when I get some information. Waiting in a hotel room there will not be very different from remaining at home,” said the management consultant. The focus of international help was also on assisting the families of the Chinese passengers, he added.
“It is ironical that in a satellite-enabled world, where people are sighted from thousands of miles away, we have drawn a blank in the search for a big bird with hundreds of people on it,” he said. “One is left with a creeping suspicion that there is more to it than what is being shared. And if that is the case, whose interests are being served?”
Mr. Narendran said he had last spoken to his wife at the “gate of his house,” while she was leaving for the airport. Ms. Sharma had a long phone conversation with Meghna while she was in Malaysia. He added that his family and friends and Ms. Sharma’s professional circle were helping him cope with the crisis.
Ms. Sharma has been part of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers since 1998, and active in the area of women in the fishing industry, her colleagues said. She was an invited delegate at the regional conference of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Mongolia and was on her way to the event when the accident occurred. If all had gone well, she would have returned home over the weekend.