Borivli’s Kolekars and their son, who were on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight, were to go meet their other son in Beijing in Feb, but extreme winter made them defer trip
Barely a fortnight ago, daughter-in-law of Vinod and Chetna Kolekar had left the city to be with their elder son and her husband, Samaved, in Beijing. Samaved’s parents and his brother, Swanand, were supposed to accompany Tejashri. But the trio decided to join them later, since the temperatures in China would have been a bit too nippy for the Mumbaikars to adjust to.
Chetna and Vinod Kolekar
That is how the three Kolekars came to be on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 7, which has been missing since Saturday.
Another reason for the three members of the family to postpone their visit was that the younger son, Swanand, wanted to appear for competitive exams here. This prompted them to leave for Malaysia on March 7.
The relatives of the Kolekars informed mid-day that Samaved Kolekar had left for Beijing on December 18, when he got an opportunity to earn and learn with a work-study job at a university in China. Speaking to mid-day, Tejshri’s mother, Sarita, said, “We are worried for the family and hope for better news to come in. I am in touch with my daughter who had gone to be with her husband for two months, since she has a job in Mumbai. She said that they have been put up at a hotel in Beijing, but haven’t received any news about the missing plane. The rescue team would hopefully speed up their search process so there is some finality to this whole mystery.”
This was to be the senior Kolekar couple’s first trip abroad, for 10 days.
Their neighbours, who are glued to the news for any update on the missing plane, said that they still hoped for some miracle.
Their house at Yogi Nagar in Borivli is locked up and the relatives have not yet informed Chetna’s mother, who lives in Mulund, about the missing flight, fearing that she might not be able to bear the news at her advanced age.
The central command facility, Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), responsible for carrying out disaster management functions, was activated early morning on March 8.
We are working closely with the government of China and the immigration authority in Malaysia to expedite the issuance of passports for the families intending to travel to Malaysia. We are deploying an additional aircraft to bring the families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on March 11.
When the aircraft is located, a Response Coordination Centre (RCC) will be established to support the needs of the families. We will provide transport and accommodation to the designated areas for the family members.
We have been cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and the Ministry of Transport in Malaysia. DCA has confirmed that search teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the US have come forward to assist. We are grateful for these efforts.