CHENNAI: Nearly 46 years after her parents died in a plane crash in Mumbai, daughter Malini in Chennai finally got their death certificate. Thanks to social activist V Santhanam, who happens to be Malini's father-in-law.
Malini of Mambalam, lost her parents in the Indian Airlines flight crash on October 10, 1976, when she was just one and half years old.
Her parents, Parathasarathy and Vasanthi, were returning to Chennai from Mumbai after completing their holiday trip when the aircrash happened. Malini and her 3-year-old brother were left in their relative house in Chennai, when their parents went for the trip.
Later, Malini got married to Sridhar, son of the social activist Santhanam. A few years ago, when she required the death certificates of her parents, it was found that no certificates were provided for the 95 people who lost their lives in the crash.
Malini, settled in Dubai, informed about this to Santhanam. He then set the wheels in motion by contacting the Mumbai municipal officials with the help of the Maharashtra Chief Minister. However, there were no death certificates in the Mumbai municipal office. Later, he contacted the Air India office which even went in vain.
Irked over this, Santhanam collected news articles and the list of the passengers who lost their lives in the flight crash from the internet. He had even applied for a death certificate, which was rejected by the Mumbai municipal officials quoting that evidence was not enough.
Then, Santhanam with the help of Mumbai-based social activist Shibu K Geroge filed a case in a Mumbai court and submitted a copy of the certificate which was issued in the T Nagar cemetery in 1976.
After hearings, the Mumbai court ordered the Municipality to issue death certificates. On April 29, certificates were handed over to Malini after the struggle of more than two years.