Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter and appealed for help to get in touch with the family of Shikha Garg, one of the four Indians killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people on board. This is apparently the second crash involving such aircraft.
The Indian Embassy in Ethiopia confirmed the deaths of the four Indian citizens — Shikha Garg, Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh, Nukavarapu Manisha. Being the Minister of External Affairs, Swaraj took it upon herself to get in touch with the families of the victims.
Sushma Swaraj tweeted asking all for help in reaching the family of all the victims. However, it appeared hard to reach out to the family of Shikha Garg, a consultant heading to a UNEP meeting in Nairobi.
Here is the tweet by Sushma Swaraj:
I am trying to reach the family of Shikha Garg who has unfortunately died in the air crash. I have tried her husband’s number many times. Please help me reach her family.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 11, 2019Advertisement
Soon after the tweet, many on social media came out mocking Swaraj, calling it a publicity stunt. It seems like people failed to realise that social media is the perfect tool to get such information and its reach is incomparable to any other tools at the disposable of the minister. This is what some of the tweets went like:
Why you are luring this on Twitter. You are a part of ruling government you don’t need common people’s help to find her husband . You are putting on twitter just because you want publicity. This is a publicity stunt. If you really want to help than help don’t tell The world.
— Keyur (@KeyurSharma31) March 11, 2019
It should be quite simple to reach her family, this is a publicity stunt
Will contacting the airline doesn’t help ? They will have her passport number. Can’t you track down using the address in the passport. As simple as that. This is just a publicity stunt.
— Raman (@ramansv710) March 11, 2019
For every negative comment, there were many more who were genuinely interested in helping out. Despite all the negativity, it turns out that Swaraj’s idea to get the info out via Twitter was a great one. Because in under an hour of Swaraj’s tweet, someone who knew the family came out with the required information.
Here is the response tweet:
Madam, I am Shikha’s husband Soumya’s colleague. We are in touch with both the families. Please ask your official to DM so that I can.provide the address
— Jitendra Sharma (@jitusharma2785) March 11, 2019
Well, it is moments like this that show us the true power of social media. And also how we can use it to our advantage instead of tearing each other apart with it. Don’t you agree?