Four families from Udupi lost one member each in the air crash

Although it is a year since the Mangalore air crash, members of four families in and around Udupi, who lost a relative each in the crash, are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy and loss of their loved ones.

As many as 158 people lost their lives when the Air India Express plane crashed near Bajpe on May 22, 2010.

Prabhakar Devadiga of Kemthur village, who lost his brother Jayaprakash Devadiga (28) in the crash, said: “We are still in a shock. We cannot forget the pain of losing him. He was coming for his first holiday after working for three years in Dubai. All the eight persons in that row of the plane survived, but not Jayaprakash.”

As regards compensation, he said Air India gave Rs. 5 lakh, and the Union and State governments gave Rs. 2 lakh each. “We are yet to receive the rest of the compensation from Air India. We want Air India to treat the lives of all the victims equally and give equal compensation,” he said.

Since Jayaprakash excelled in theatre and social activities, his well wishers had built an open air theatre, “Late Jayaprakash Ranga Mandira”, in his memory at Amanottu-Padumarnadu village near Moodabidri. “This theatre will be inaugurated on May 22, exactly a year after the crash,” Mr. Devadiga said.

Shailesh Rao (41) was on his way to attend the funeral of his mother Neeradha Bai (65), who died on May 21, 2010 here, when he was killed in the crash. Shaliesh was working as a clerk-cum-translator at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City at Abu Dhabi.

Shailesh's 75-year-old father B. Yathindranath said that he was suffering from slip disc, heart problem and hypertension.

“I was dependent on Shailesh. He was concerned about me and his mother. The shock and agony of losing him will remain with me forever,” he said.

Nabisa Begum of Kodavoor, who lost her son Naveed Ibrahim (23) in the crash, was overcome with grief. Naveed's father B.H. Abubakar works in the fisheries industry at Malpe. Naveed was second among the four sons.

Ms. Begum said: “Naveed was coming for his first holiday after working for 11 months in Dubai. He was working in a petroleum outlet and a super bazaar there. No matter how much money is given as compensation, we will not get our son back. The pain of losing him will remain with me till my death.”

Shreyas S. Kumar of class 12 at Vidyodaya Pre-University College here lost his father Sanjay Kumar, who was working as Executive Manager at United Colour Films in Dubai, in the crash.

He said though the pain of losing his father was still there, he had come to terms with it. “But it must be more difficult for my mother Unniarcha S. Kumar and my sister Aishwarya S. Kumar as they depended on him. My father was a serious, but very lovable person.”

His mother works as a ticketing manager in a travel agency in Dubai and his sister stays with her, Mr. Kumar said.

Sanjay's elder sister Amita Jayaprakash, who could not control her tears, said: “It is impossible to forget my brother. My 82-year-old mother Savitri Mahabal embraces Shreyas and weeps whenever she remembers Sanjay. My 86-year-old father B.P. Mahabal also remembers my brother.”

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