Indian Army Aids Global Paragliding Contest After 2 Deaths
File photo of paragliding.
File photo of paragliding. (Photo: Reuters)

Indian Army Aids Global Paragliding Contest After 2 Deaths

After a number of mishaps, including the deaths of two paragliders right before the paragliding championship in Bir-Billing, the Indian Army has decided to share their expertise, providing logistical support for the championship that started on Sunday, 28 October, the Times of India reported.

How Will the Army Help?

According to the organisers of the event, the army will provide communication, manpower, establish temporary toilets, as well as provide rescue helicopters in case of any mishap.

According to the TOI report, the Dah Mountain division of the 39 corps of the Indian Army will provide support to the competition which is said to conclude on 3 November.

Baijnath Sub-divisional Magistrate Vikas Shukla, who is also the head of the organising committee of the event, said that the Indian Army intervening is a ‘big relief’.

Two Paragliders Die Right Before Event

The two paragliders who died included an NRI paraglider who lost his life in Bir Billing on 24 October, the Tribune reported. An Australian citizen, Sanjay Kumar Ramdas Devarkonda died after crash-landing in Jogindergar area of Mandi.

On 23 October, a Singapore paraglider Kok Chang (53) died after meeting with an accident in the Bir Billing area itself. Chang was a free flyer and had gone missing last Monday, 22 October. His dead body was spotted lying in Big Area in the hills of Utrala region in Baijnath area, The Tribune reported.

The Indian Open Paragliding World Cup is a paragliding competition where as many as 170 paragliders from about 20 countries compete. This year, the organisers have capped the number of paragliders at 150.

Also Read : Rebuilding Elphinstone Bridge: Army Should Draw a Red Line, Say NO

Army Always Lends a Helping Hand

There have been instances of the Indian Army lending a hand when needed. In the recent floods in Kerala that swept away most of the state killing more than 300 people, the Indian army had a huge role to play in the rescue operations from supplying medicines to food and water resources.

In Bengaluru, the Indian Army was called in to control the fire in the Bellandur lake, located in the Yemlur side of Bengaluru, in January.

The Indian Army was also called to help in rebuilding the Elphinstone road foot-over bridge where a stampede killed 23 people last year.

Incidentally, the Indian Army also helped with laying the Yoga mats on international Yoga day, as well as laying a bridge for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living event in 2016. Although here it was argued that this was disrespectful to our soldiers, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the army is always willing to help.

(With inputs from The Times of India and The Tribune.)

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