Pune to Pyongyang: The journey that is yet to end

Pune to Pyongyang: The journey that is yet to end

 Prahlad Shirsat was waiting at Pyongyang to receive his wife Kranti, who was travelling all the way from Pune to join him at the North Korean capital.

Kranti was expected to reach Pyongyang on Saturday, but her long voyage had not come to its end even on Sunday. The 43-year-old was one of the 227 passengers on-board the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370, which went missing after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing late at night on Friday.

Prahlad instead crossed over from North Korea to China on Sunday. Even as a multi-national search and rescue operation has been on in South China Sea to look for the missing aircraft, the country director of the international humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide for North Korea is now waiting at a hotel in Beijing, along with the families of other passengers, hoping against hope that his worst fears would never come true.

India’s Ambassador to North Korea Ajay K Sharma, contacted Prahlad late on Saturday, and offered any sort of assistance he might require at this difficult time.

The Indian Embassy in Pyongyang on Sunday had facilitated his entry from North Korea to China through land border.

“We are closely following the developments ever since we came to know that the Malaysia Airlines plane had gone missing. We are also in touch with the families of the five Indian nationals, who were on-board the missing aircraft, and have assured them of all necessary assistance,” T S Tirumurti, India’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, told Deccan Herald from Kuala Lumpur.

Tirumurti, himself, spoke to a relative of Kranti Shirsat on Saturday. He also spoke to a close family friend of Chandrika Sharma, who was on the missing MH-370, as the daughter of the 51-year-old executive secretary of the International Collective in Support of Fish-workers was too distraught to take calls. Chandrika, who hails from Chennai, was on her way to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to attend a conference organised by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

“We are also in touch with Malaysian Government and the airlines for the latest updates on the search and rescue operations,” said Tirumurti.

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