As many as five men from Uttar Pradesh died in the helicopter crash in Uttarakhand on Tuesday. While two men were from the Indian Air Force (IAF),two were from the Indo-Tibeten Border Police (ITBP) and one was from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Their families are waiting for the bodies.
On Tuesday morning,Akhilesh Kumar Singh,who was Junior Warrant Officer in the IAF,called up his father Vikramjeet Singh in Amethi and told him how they were working round-the-clock to help people stranded in Uttarakhand after the flash floods.
A retired principal of a government school,Vikramjeet said his son told him that this was the first time in his 17 years of service that he felt satisfied with his job. He narrated the story of how a couple from Barabanki was rescued, said.
A few hours later,a relative called up Vikramjeet and told him that an aircraft ferrying rescue personnel from Kedarnath had crashed. Half an hour later,he got a call from one of his sons colleagues who told him about Akhileshs death.
I was shocked. It took me a while to pass on the information to my family, said Vikramjeet.
A native of Amethis Jagdishpur locality,Akhilesh was posted in Kolkata where he stayed with his wife Anju Singh and children Harsh (8) and Tanu (10).
Another victim from the IAF is 35-year-old Seargeant Sudhakar Yadav,who was also posted in Kolkata and stayed there with his wife Manju Devi and two children Rishabh (13) and Rikesh (7).
Sudhakars father Maha Nand Yadav said he last spoke to his son on Tuesday morning. He told us about the conditions in which people were stranded in the mountains and how they were being rescued, said Maha Nand Yadav,principal in Junior High School in Sant Kabir Nagar.
He came to know about his sons death from IAF officials. Sudhakar had been working with the IAF since 1996.
Maha Nand said that Sudhakar came to Sant Kabir Nagar with his family 10 days ago. Two days later he left to Kolkata,leaving his family in Sant Kabir Nagar. From Kolkata he was sent to Uttarakhand for the rescue operation.
Another air crash victim from UP is Nitya Nand Gupta,commandant in the NDRF.
A native of Kanpurs Choubepur locality,Nitya Nand is the eldest of three sons of Manna Lal Gupta,who runs a seed and fertiliser shop.
Nitya Nands younger sister Safalta Saroj said the family last spoke to him four days back. My brother helped the people in distress,he rescued around 2,700 persons, said Saroj.
Nitya Nand recently built a house in Ghaziabad,where he stayed with his wife Madhuri Gupta and two children,the elder being a 15-year-old boy. His uncle O P Gupta said they came to know about the death last evening and the family had left for Ghaziabad.
Nitya Nand,who was due to retire in two years,was planning a business in Ghaziabad,OP Gupta added.
Sarvesh Kumar of Jhansi district,who was a constable in the ITBP,is the fourth victim from UP. He got married seven months back. Sarveshs uncle Hari Babu,a farmer,said he had promised to take leave and come home after the rescue operation was over.
A native of Jhansis Hewatpura village,Sarvesh has a younger brother and younger sister. His father Raja Ram,a constable in the UP police force,said they came to know about the death from the Jhansi district administration.
Sanjiv Kumar (25),another ITBP constable who died in the crash,was from Ballia. He was unmarried.
His father Gautamji,an employee of the UP government,said they came to know about Sanjivs death this morning from ITBP officials. Last time I spoke to him was on Monday. He promised to come home after the rescue operation was done, said Gautamji.
Sanjeev Kumars younger brother Rajeev Kumar is unemployed.