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Photojournalist Ketevan Kardava Meets Brussels Terror Attack Victim Nidhi Chaphekar

"She was grateful that I clicked her picture and shared it."

22/03/2017 11:18 AM IST | Updated 22/03/2017 11:48 AM IST
Ketevan Kardava via Getty Images
Georgian journalist Ketevan Kardava (R) poses for a photo with Indian air stewardess Nidhi Chaphekar on March 19, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.

Exactly a year ago, a photo of Indian flight attendant Nidhi Chaphekar became the defining image of the terror attack in the Brussels international airport. At the same time, photojournalist Ketevan Kardava, who also happened to be at the airport at the time of the blast and took Chaphekar's photograph, received flak for "stripping away her dignity".

On Tuesday, Chaphekar met Kardava in Brussels, where both of them took part in a memorial ceremony marking the first anniversary of the attack that killed 16 people at the airport and an equal number at a simultaneous attack in the Brussels metro.

"Meeting Nidhi was an amazing experience," the Georgian journalist told mediapersons. "I am very happy to find a close friend in her. We shared our experiences on that unfortunate day. She was grateful that I clicked her picture and shared it. That helped her family know she was alive. I hope she joins work and starts flying again soon."

ALSO READ: Why I Don't Find The Photo Of Jet Airways Staffer Nidhi Chaphekar Indecent Or Exploitative

It was the first time the two met since the worst terrorist attack in Belgium's history. Kardava had taken the photo of Nidhi in her smartphone, which was subsequently splashed in front pages of newspapers around the world.

KETEVAN KARDAVA/Getty Images
Flight attendant Nidhi Chaphekar (R) reacts in the moments following a suicide bombing at Brussels Zaventem airport on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. Georgian journalist Ketevan Kardava, special correspondent for the Georgian Public Broadcaster, was travelling to Geneva when the attack took place, she was knocked to the floor and began to take photographs in the moments that followed.

It helped her family immediately know that Chaphekar, a stewardess with Jet Airways, was alive. The 41-year-old mother of two is still recovering from her injuries in the attack, where she suffered from 15 percent burns and fractured her leg. She has to wear protective gloves in both her hands for her burn injuries.

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