Monday, May 25, 2015

High Flier!

Paragliding Pilot Rinzing Doma


26-year-old Rinzing Doma Bhutia has the distinction of being the first woman paragliding pilot of Sikkim. Hailing from Sombaria Bazaar, West Sikkim, Rinzing did not really have any interest in paragliding until she attended a paragliding course at Daramdin in West Sikkim in 2009. Being a sportsperson her teachers encouraged her to join the course organised by the Sports and Youth Affairs department of the state under its Capacity Building programme.
She was in the third batch of the basic and intermediate course in paragliding held at Daramdin in 2009. There were seven girls in this batch and only Rinzing went forward to make a career in this sport.
After her introduction to paragliding, she went for further training in paragliding at Leading Edge Adventure at Solang Manali in Himachal Pradesh in the same year. This training was sponsored by the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs. In 2010 she took up the advanced course in paragliding from the same institute which was also sponsored by the Sports department.
“With these trainings, my interest and passion in paragliding grew and I decided to make my career in this field,” says Rinzing.
However, after participating in many national and state level competitions she hit a low point. Lack of finances to acquire equipments to be a commercial paragliding pilot almost made her quit paragliding and she ended up staying home for a year, completely out of touch from the sport.
“This was a very tough time for me, staying at home for a whole year away from paragliding but later my senior and trainer Arjun Rai, who is successfully working in Pokhara, called me to Nepal and after consulting my family I decided to continue paragliding,” she shares.
“The experience in Nepal was great and very beneficial for me. But now I have decided to work as a paragliding pilot in my own state,” she informs.
Rinzing mentions that paragliding pilots from West Sikkim have decided to promote Durpiney Dara in Chakung and other similar spots for paragliding. “The paragliding spot at Ranka is doing pretty well, so some of us from West Sikkim plan to develop Durpiney Dara and other suitable spots as well,” she add. However, Rinzing still needs more equipment to continue her career in paragliding.
In future, she plans to get more girls and youth from rural areas to take up paragliding. The field has a lot of potential for both men and women of the state she says.
“I am happy and satisfied as a paragliding pilot, I hope to become better with time and will continue in this profession,” Rinzing adds.

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