Arunachal Paragliding Festival (2018)
1st Arunachal Paragliding Festival
The 1st Arunachal Paragliding Festival organised by Paragliding Association of Arunachal (PAA) was held at Lumdung from 17th-19th November, 2018. Shri Mama Natung HMLA 11-Seppa (West) Assembly Constituency graced the inaugural function as the Chief Guest.
The Flying Festival began with short inaugural function. Shri Vijay Sonam, President of Paragliding Association of Arunachal extended warm welcome to the HMLA, Participants, Guests, Officers, youth & public. He informed the gathering that the Flying Festival could see the light of the day after several years of hard work. Survey for suitable paragliding flying site was conducted at many places across the State of Arunachal Pradesh. After which Lumdung was finally selected for promotion of paragliding and also the venue for the flying festival thereof. A detailed survey, technical analysis, recce & several test flights were performed by paragliding professionals to ensure that the site is flyable and safe. Shri Sonam also informed that despite the short notice response from the paragliding fraternity was well above expectation. 34 paragliding pilots participated in the festival.
While ace paragliding pilots Gorene Jaka, Leban Lara, Hine Steven Todd, Giroux Jimmy Joseph Marc, Aldy Patanroi, Surain Gurung, Ajay Kr Sharma and Devi Prasad Ketar did free flying, 27 participating pilots took part in the spot landing (accuracy) competition.
After welcome address and introduction of the participants, traditional scarf, jackets & mementos were presented to the guests & the participants as a token of love and appreciation.
In his speech the HMLA Shri Mama Natung said that the festival would go a long way in promoting sports and adventure tourism in the region. He also said that it will not only promote tourist inflow but also increase the economic condition of the people living in the area besides attracting the youths of the State to take up paragliding as a Sports and self employment. Describing Pappu Valley as one of the best destinations for paragliding, the HMLA said that he would take up the matter with the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Pema Khandu for declaring the festival as a calendar event. He thanked the Department of Youth Affairs and Department of Tourism, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh for supporting the event and assured Paragliding Association of Arunachal President Vijay Sonam of full support to ensure success of the programme.
Shri Gaurav Singh Rajawat DC East Kameng, Shri Karbia Dodum Asst. Director (Sports), Smt. Bengia Manna Sonam, Asst. Director (Tourism), HODs of East Kameng District, Public leaders, PRI Members were present on the occasion amongst others.
The Festival concluded on 19th November 2018 after mass participation of Pilots from within and outside the Country. Shri ________ from Bir Billing (Himachal Pradesh) emerged as the winner in the spot landing (accuracy) competition which carried award of ₹ 30,000/- while Shri Omraj Gurung and Shri Deshbir Jimi of Nepal came 2nd and 3rd which carried awards of ₹ 20,000/- & ₹ 10,000/- respectively.
On the eve of the finale all participants and guests were treated to a traditional dinner and cultural program in the traditional Arunachali house in Lumdung village. This was a unique experience for the participating pilots. Deviprasad Ketakar who travelled by road all the way from Mumbai congratulated the organisers for putting together a great event which brought people from various parts of the world together in one place to experience a new flying site, local food and culture.