This is not the first time a member of the Chauhan family — owners of Parle biscuits, Bisleri bottled water and a number of soft-drink brands — has been involved in an air tragedy.
On Sunday, the Chauhans were praying fervently for Amol — the son of Sharad Chauhan, cousin of Parle Products chairman Ramesh Chauhan. Amol was among the passengers of the ill-fated Kenyan Airways plane that crashed on Saturday while flying from Cameroon to Nairobi.
He has officially been declared ‘missing’ by the Kenyan authorities, as the hunt for the wreckage of the aircraft continues.
Amol is the fourth in the Chauhan family to be involved in a plane crash. In 1964, two of them died in a crash. Madhukar Chauhan, 30, the elder brother of Ramesh Chauhan, and a cousin, Jitendra Chauhan, 23 — flying from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in a Bombay Flying Club’s Tiger Moth — crashed into the Arabian Sea soon after taking off from the Juhu aerodrome.
On January 1, 1978, Ramesh Chauhan’s sister Meenakshi was on the fateful Air India flight 855 from Mumbai to Dubai, which crashed into the sea off the coast near Bandra just after taking off from Mumbai airport, killing all on board.
Ramesh Chauhan told the Hindustan Times: “Yes, we have already lost three members of the family in plane crashes and do not want any further casualty. We are all praying for Amol’s well being.”