•      Fri Jun 21 2024
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Paragliding experience of visually impaired persons: ‘living your dreams requires courage, not sight’



Kaski, Aug 1: Sunita Dawadi’s happiness knew no bounds after landing on the bank of Phewa Lake after a paragliding flight, the adventurous sports.

She could not express her experience of paragliding in words on Monday afternoon. It was for the first time in her life that she had paraglided.

Visually impaired Sunita is working as telephone operator at Tribhuvan International Airport. A member of ‘Blind Rocks’, an organisation, Sunita came to Pokhara on Sunday to experience paragliding.

She said, “It had always been her dream to fly in the sky. I wondered whether or not I would be able to fly in paraglider.” She had a thrilling experience and excitement on Monday, Sunita shared about her paragliding experience.

A total of 10 visually impaired persons including two foreigners like Sunita enjoyed paragliding flight in the sky of Pokhara on Monday.

Not everyone is ready for paragliding. It needs courage, but differently-abled visually impaired persons enjoyed the adventurous sports. The ‘Blind Rocks’ organisation provided such opportunity of paragliding to visually impaired persons.

Most of them experienced paragliding flight for the first time.

Chandani Sharma Pokharel of Baglung, who studies at Prithivi Narayan Campus, Pokhara, said she had never imagined of flying in the sky.

Chandani shred, “I had never imagined of flying in the sky. I am lucky to have an enjoyable paragliding experience and there is no limit of my happiness. I got to experience everything.”

This is the second paragliding experience of Shristi KC, the founding chair of Blind Rocks. She is that one who takes initiations to make sure that paragliding is also for the visually impaired people.

The message of the ‘inclusive paragliding’ is – “Having a ‘disability’ or experiencing ‘visual impairment’ is and should never limit your ability to broaden your horizon.”

“This is an inclusive tourism. Success is possible amidst our physical limitations and constraints. We are able to rise above our physical limitations,” she said.

Sharing her paragliding experiences she said, “The experiences of the moments when you find yourself amidst the cloud can’t be expressed in words.” She added that her dream of touching the clouds in the sky finally came true.

According to her, it was hard to believe that she was enjoying the proximity with the clouds. These moments filled her with a different feeling of energy and enthusiasm. This experience taught her that to chase a dream in life, one needs passion, courage, and confidence, not just relying on sight.

Paragliding pilot Ram Gautam said this was his maiden flight with the visually impaired persons. During his usual flights, clients can observe and enjoy the scenes themselves. However, when flying with visually impaired individuals, Ram takes on the responsibility of describing the moments to them, allowing them to fully experience the joy of the flight.

Gautam found his ‘special and ‘inclusive’ clients equally enthusiastic, energized and responsive during the adventure trip. Krishna Dawadi/RSS