Promoting equal opportunities for all, for the first time differently abled youth will be para-gliding on World Disability day on December 3, 2011 in Darjeeling. Paragliding will be part of the 3 day adventure curriculum for these youth.
Organised by National Institute of Professionals (NIP) an NGO and “Off Road” an extreme adventure sports company operating in Darjeeling, the 3 day course is expected to be flagged off by the Chief Minister or the Minister of Higher Education, Government of West Bengal on November 30 in Kolkata.
NIP, an NGO based in Kolkata has been imparting computer and other vocational trainings to differently abled persons since 2002. “Not much has been done to introduce differently abled persons to the world of adventure sports, hence we decided to try this out. We have selected 10 of our students to participate in this special three day camp” stated Debojyoti Rai, Secretary, NIP.
The 10 include visually impaired, orthopedically challenged and mentally challenged. “Prior to this differently abled persons have undertaken treks, rock climbing but this is for the first time they will be paragliding” stated Sangay Sherpa, Director, Off Road.
The three day course will include paragliding, rock climbing, rappelling, yoga and site seeing. “This is part of our social responsibility . We have drastically subsidized the training charges” stated Sherpa.
Off Road, has been successfully running extreme adventure sports facilities including paragliding in Darjeeling since the past year. They charge Rs. 3000/- for commercial flying ( a trip from St. Paul’s School to Lebong for tourists which usually takes around 15 minutes.) “However we are doing the three day course for Rs. 2500/- per trainee” added Sherpa.
The company has three gliders manned by three pilots. Darjeeling is the only place from where both the Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga is visible on clear days while paragliding. “I am truly excited. This is the first time Ill be flying differently abled persons. It is a challenge for me also” stated Nan Lal Byas, Chief Paragliding Pilot who hails from Manali.
The trainees will leave Kolkata on November 30 and will be welcomed by Gautam Deb, North Bengal Development Minister in Siliguri on December1. They will then proceed for Darjeeling on the same day. On December 3 morning they will be paragliding in Darjeeling.