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February 28, 2010

Paragliding competition at Sikkim lures local adventure enthusiasts

     Thami Dara (Sikkim): To draw adventure lovers and boost tourism, Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS) has launched a preparatory paragliding at Thami Dara preparatory paragliding, a first in Sikkim, to an overwhelming response. Under the banner of Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS), preparatory paragliding is organised for the first time at Thami Dara in Sikkim. The event witnessed a good response from the adventure-loving local youth. These local gliders were initially trained by the Sports And Youth Affairs Department and the Tourism Department at Manali in northern state of Himachal Pradesh. Most of these paragliders have done advance course and some of them have even completed basic, intermediate and advance courses for 'tandem flights' capable of taking to air one co-flier at a time. "After finishing advanced course, we are trying to look at commercial flights. The first place to start adventure sports in India is Manali and second place is Gangtok in Sikkim. There is a huge potential for adventure sports," said Raju Rai, a local paraglider. These paragliders hail from all different parts of Sikkim and among them are two women who have finished advance course. The TASS has taken land on rent to promote paragliding in commercial way, to generate employment and to boost confidence of the youth, in the region. "Since sports department train so many boys and girls in paragliding in other parts of the country, we as travel agents, a trust, want to tie up business and technical part so that boys and girls not only get employment opportunities but as well as this village (where) poor land holders can reap the benefit out of tourism," said Sailesh Pradhan, a member of the TASS.
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