Pune’s Shital Mahajan jumps from 5,100 ft to ‘inspire Indian women’

Published on Apr 01, 2022 05:01 PM IST

Padma Shri Shital Mahajan felt nothing but “amazing” when she was about to jump from 5,100 feet in Hadapsar in Pune.

Pune’s Shital Mahajan jumps from 5,100 ft to ‘inspire Indian women’
Pune’s Shital Mahajan jumps from 5,100 ft to ‘inspire Indian women’
ByVinay MR Mishra

Padma Shri Shital Mahajan felt nothing but “amazing” when she was about to jump from 5,100 feet in Hadapsar in Pune. She jumped, wearing a suit with tricolour lights on it, on March 8. Pune-based Mahajan jumped from an Australian-made paramotor and boasts, “Nobody in India has done night skydiving before. I believe that if you want to do something, just do it.” Mahajan, who has done four-night skydives before this one, reveals that it was her late father Kamalakar Mahajan’s wish that she do paramotoring. “In 2017, in Kutch, we saw a few paramotors and my father said to me, why don’t you do this? When I approached the pilots there, they denied it outright. They said it would be unsafe,” she recalls.

Soon, she bumped into pilot Vijay Sethi, who, as per Mahajan, agreed to do the stint in a moment. “I was surprised as well, that he said yes. He was the first pilot to say yes to me (for this),” she mentions, adding that she was initially aiming for a fall from 3,000 ft; however, it was Sethi who pushed her to 5,100 ft.

While the plan to do the jump on International Women’s Day (March 8) was sealed months ago, Mahajan reveals that on the day, things looked dicey for her. “Pune ke half part mein baarish ho rahi thi. The weather was not in our favour. The dense clouds were getting into our motors. The pressure was rising due to the weather conditions. However, luckily, it didn’t rain,” she discloses.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the sportsperson has done something unique. In 2018, she skydived in a saree. “Everyone was asking me what I would do for Women’s Day. And I couldn’t jump in a nauvari saree, as it gets extremely cold at night. And we also wanted the lights in the dress. Saree pe lights cool nahin lagti. So, I did this to inspire Indian women,” she shares.

Mahajan reveals that it took her around a-day-and-half with the help of an electrician and a tailor to get her outfit ready. “I want to thank everyone who helped me with this. Even the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and the Director-General of Civil Aviation,” she says, adding, “The Hadapsar centre (the location where Mahajan skydived) was closed for three years. They opened it only for me, otherwise, I would have had to go to some other state. So, I am glad I could do it in apla (my own) Pune.”

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