Ethiopian plane crash: UN adviser Shikha Garg killed

Ethiopian plane crash: UN adviser Shikha Garg killed

A hard worker and dedicated environmentalist, Shikha Garg was on her way to Nairobi to be a part of an annual conference at United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) when Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed taking her life and of all other 156 people aboard the plane.

Garg, 32, had given over six years to the issue of climate change and sustainable development being a consultant with the United Nations Development Programme and attached to the Environment Ministry.

Government official Rishi Kaushik, who knew Garg for two years, said she was an integral part of the international cooperation division of the ministry.

"She was looking after sustainable development goals and was going to attend an annual environment conference of the UNEA, whose headquarters are in Nairobi. It is attended by environment ministers of several countries along with other delegates," said Kaushik, Section Officer (International Cooperation and Sustainable Development), Ministry of Environment.

Garg's friend, who did not want to be named, remembered her as a vibrant, happy and hardworking person.

The young woman got married in December last year to her colleague working with the United Nations in its environment programme UNEP.

"She was a vibrant person and a happy soul besides being hard working and a dedicated professional. She got married last year in December," said the friend.

Kaushik, who visited Garg's residence, said her family was devastated and waiting to receive her body, which has not been identified in Nairobi yet, after the crash on Sunday. Garg is survived by her parents, two sisters and a brother.

"The body has still not been identified and brought back. The process is on. Our officials are in Nairobi to look into the formalities to bring the body back," said Kaushik.

Garg was among the four Indians killed in the Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines Boeing plane that crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all eight crew and 149 passengers, including tourists, business travellers and at least a dozen UN staff, on board.

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan confirmed the death of Garg in a tweet Sunday.

The minister tweeted, "My condolences to the families of four Indian nationals who have died in an unfortunate crash of Ethiopian Airlines. Sadly, a UNDP consultant attached to my ministry @moefcc Ms Shikha Garg, also died in the crash. My prayers for the departed souls." 

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