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India's first skydiving zone, in Gujarat

November 27, 2006 10:42 IST

The Sports Authority of Gujarat is in the process of developing the state as a destination for adventure sports, especially skydiving.

According to an official of the forum, SAG is making efforts to set up dropping zone in Gujarat. If the proposed zone takes place it will be in the first in the country.

SAG is also working out strategies to make adventurous exercises accessible to more people. SAG Director-General Atul Karwal said, "The sports, at present, is costly but I would talk to the agencies concerned to see the possibilities of reducing the charges to make them affordable."

A step in this direction was a two-day sky-diving programme jointly organised by the Sports Authority of Gujarat and the Indian Parachute Federation that ended on Saturday at Deesa, 22km from Palanpur.

Twenty participants, including five women and a German national, took part.

''It was the first thrilling adventure of my life when I threw myself out of an aircraft at an altitude of about 4,000 feet,'' said Vijitha Shenoy from Ahmedabad, who took off for the second time on Sunday as her first attempt on Saturday was not to her satisfaction.

''The green field, the riverbed, and widely spread ground below looked smaller than I imagined. It was quite different from the one that I saw when I looked out through the window. I wish I had many such trips. It was a great indeed,'' she said as stood up after landing on the ground.

President the Indian of Parachute Federation Sanjay Thapa, who is also a former commander of Air force having to his credit a world record on sky-diving said that as many as 20 participants who took part at Deesa were earlier given an intensive training in sky jumping, ground training and lectures.

BB Patil of Sports authority of Gujarat said, "We preferred Deesa for the second time because it is an isolated place and free from risky commercial wires settings.

"We can arrange the sky-drive programme once a week continuously if we could get even 20 participants to take part."

The present rate for single jump is Rs 12,500. Three jumps Rs 33,000, five jumps Rs 50,000.