Video Producer: Varsha Rani
Video Editor: Rajbir Singh
The last conversation that I remember having with Advik was him saying, "Papa, it's been a great holiday so far, I just loved it. I played so much in snow, I ate snow, I did zip lining across the river Beas and now we're going paragliding." He had thanked me and he was super happy.
These were our 12-year-old son, Advik's, last words to me, minutes before he lost his life in an accident at a paragliding site in Himachal Pradesh on 22 December 2021.
We went to Himachal Pradesh on 17 December, and on 22 December, we decided to go to Bir Billing for paragliding. Immediately, a few people came and said they'd be taking us paragliding. My wife, my son, one of my friends, and I – the four of us decided to go for paragliding. We got to know that the paragliding site was 12-15 km away. They said they would need to take all of us in a jeep.
We were made to sign a waiver before but it did not talk about the ride from the landing site to the take-off site. Neither did we receive any copy of the same.
We were in the jeep and there was a blind turn, and suddenly, two people in a scooter came and they hit our jeep. To save the people on the scooter, the driver suddenly applied brakes and the jeep fell into a gorge that was around 15-20 feet deep. We all tumbled. I don't know how many times it was, but when I got up and reached for my son, he blinked at me. And in that minute, I knew he was no longer with us.
Organisers Fled from the scene
When the accident occurred, and I got up, there was nobody. The driver, the pilots, everybody ran away. I was feeling very helpless as nobody was there in the middle of that jungle to help us.
When we were lying there, there was no medical or emergency facility provided by the paragliding company. Even the ambulance was called by my friend. Once we reached the hospital and were admitted, what we feared about Advik came true.
Let's Not Have Any More Adviks
We have started a petition that ensures safe adventure tourism in India. We have also written to the tourism secretary of Himachal Pradesh for the same.
By the petition, we just want to talk about the basic things that need to be set up by the government and the administration. We want the whole sector of adventure sports to be organised. There need to be some SOPs, and medical facilities should be available for emergency cases. The kind of equipment we use, and the kind of people using that, there should be a basic qualification for that.
It's so unfortunate that it takes a life for something to be initiated, but if something happens and it helps in preventing such incidents in the future, we will think of it as our tribute to him. Something he will always be remembered for, the change he brought about.
Let's not have any more Adviks lose their lives this way.
The Quint reached out to the tourism secretary of Himachal Pradesh but there has been no response. As soon as we receive a response, the story would be updated.
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