Instead of her remains, sacred kush grass doll to be used for funeral rites of Ekta Adhikari

17 March 2019: The heartbroken family of Ethiopian Airlines crash victim Ekta Adhikari is reportedly preparing to perform her funeral rites with sacred kush grass doll as her remains.

Hindus use a replica made of kush grass for funeral rites when body of the deceased is not readily accessible. Kush, botanical name of which is desmotachya bipinnata, is considered sacred in Hinduism and is commonly used in performing various puja.

Nepalese online media Setopati reported today that the Adhikari family considered performing the kush funeral of the WFP employee following their consultation with a Hindu priest.

“It seems the body will not arrive for sometime. We are consulting a priest today regarding how we can proceed with the funeral rites,” the report cited uncle of Ms Adhikari, Ishwor Adhikari, as saying. According to Mr Adhikari, the family is completely dependent on the Kathmandu office of the World Food Programme to have Ekta Adhikari’s remains brought back home.

“We cannot take any other action (to bring her home). We are relying on whatever that office (WFP Nepal) does,” Mr Adhikari further said.

Ekta Adhikari, whose bubbly personality apparently won the hearts of all that shared workplaces with the 28-year-old Nepalese national, died along with 156 others as Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa on 10 March.

The 737 MAX 8 that Ms Adhikari was on was reportedly a brand new aircraft registered only last November. This is the second air accident involving the model since Boeing launched it few years ago. In October 2018, all 189 people on board a Lion Air flight died when the 737 MAX 8 model plane crashed into the Java Sea.

All expert attention in the global aviation industry are currently fixed on the 737 MAX as regulators around the world have grounded the model after a total of 346 people lost their lives due to fatal accidents involving the Boeing model.

In the meantime, Ethiopian authorities are sending a kilogram of scorched earth from the accident site to families of the crash victims, BBC said today. The gesture, it seems, is prompted by the fact that there will be considerable delay in completing the forensic examination of the bodies.

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