The gloomy eyes and nervousness. The realisation of great loss. Again, the WWF Nepal people had feeling of responsibility. They were visiting the families of the deceased ones after the confirmation of the news.
A friend who works there saw me in the office premises when I was about to return the visitor-card. She came to me and said she was busy. I knew that they (she and her colleagues) were about to go outside. Earlier, I had seen her in the Field Room – she was attending a meeting there–but felt inappropriate to call her.
Though the news regarding the finding of the wreckage of the helicopter and confirmation that there was no survivor had already come to the electronic media, the WWF would have felt that there was a moral obligation left on their part: to officially inform the victims’ families about the loss besides condoling them.
Among people working in conservation sector, diplomatic agencies and bureaucrats who visited the WWF, one thing was common: their eyes were felt with tear.
At first, when I entered the documentation room I saw a girl soaking her tear with tissue paper. She may be a WWR staffer or may be a relative of one of the victims… After some time, the room was thronged with visitors.
I did not talk to anybody there except Naveen for some instances. Because the surrounding was very dismal… However, when new visitors would come, Sabita (Dr. Sabita Thapa) used to tell them whatever information she had.
For about 90 minutes she was denying to confirm the news. She said that unless Ghanashyam Gurung, one of the members of the WWF search team, confirms the news (regarding finding of the dead bodies), the WWF would not say anything officially.
However, later she said started talking about the collection of corpses. It then was sure that there were no survivors.
Later, from the Annapurna Rajkumar Dikpal (reporter), and Dhruva Ale (photojournalist) came. They were the only persons I knew two-way. They had come there to get some more information and profile of the WWF big shots.
Dr. Sabita showed reluctance to talk to the journalists. She said the press release as well as the profile of the dignitaries killed in the chopper crash would be published in the WWF site.
I wanted to take photographs there. But I could not venture. Once I asked Naveen whether to take out the camera.. He gestured not to. Yes, it would be inappropriate to take snaps there…
Anyways, this helicopter accident that killed 24 people from different runs of life has caused a loss to the conservation sector in Nepal. Political leader, bureaucrats, technocrats, businessman and scholars were killed in the accident. A colossal loss that has created a giant void that cannot be fulfilled in small time.
My commiseration to the family members of the victims and the organisations that lost their employees.
Prayer for the peace of the souls!