The son of one of the passengers on board the IAFâ€™s missing AN 32 aircraft is in a painful dilemma: He had planned to go abroad for higher studies but with his father missing, he is unsure of leaving his family to cope by themselves.
On July 22, the aircraft carrying 21 passengers went missing over the Bay of Bengal and search efforts have yielded no results so far. The flight was on its way from the Air Force Station in Tambaram, near Chennai, to Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
22-year-old Ashutosh Singh, was to fly to Canada this month. But with no news of his 48-year-old father Bhupendra Singh, he is in a â€śdilemmaâ€ť about leaving his mother Sangeeta and younger brother who is Class 11 at their home in Vishakapatnam.
Bhupendra Singh has worked in the Controllerate of Naval Armaments Inspection (CNAI) for the past one year, after being in the Indian Navy for 23 years.
â€śWe were all very happy about my higher studies in Canada but our happiness vanished with the missing aircraft,â€ť says Ashutosh, who has completed a BTech degree.
He said that when he needed guidance in making decisions about his higher studies, people from his fatherâ€™s department helped him through it. â€śThey came and motivated me to go for it. They also assured all possible official help when I am not here. But leaving my mom here alone with my younger brother is a difficult situation for me,â€ť Ashutosh says.
He says that the family has not lost hope even though about 20 days have passed. â€śEveryone at home feels that he is fine somewhere. The Navy and my father's department, the CNAI, are doing their best to keep my family updated on the search mission. They are also assisting my family with some official work, but the help cannot replace a person. I am just waiting for news that he is fine. I donâ€™t mind even if he comes home a year later. He should be just safe,â€ť Ashutosh says.
Some of his fatherâ€™s friends are still in shock but they too have assured the family that Bhupendra would return because of his â€śskill and capabilitiesâ€ť.
Ashutosh says that his while his father was in the Navy, he was among its best engineers. â€śHe worked on many technical issues pertaining to sophisticated military hardware and his capability to respond to emergency situation is what makes me believe that he would have escaped.â€ť