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Para-motor trike to spread message on voting

Mangalore, April 16, 2013, DHNS:

Mangaloreans don’t forget to look up the skies between 7 am and 9 am

Excitement in air: Meghalaya Paragliders Association President Nikolai Singh battles with the strong wind while trying to fly his para-glider at Shridevi College Grounds on Monday. DH Photo

Don't be surprised if you see a man flying over your roof-top on Tuesday early morning. Nikolai Singh,  President of the Meghalaya Paragliders Association, is all set to woo citizens to exercise their voting right by spreading awareness by flying a para-motor trike over the city for two hours from 7 am.

The novel initiative is adopted by the State Election Commission.  The Meghalaya Paragliders Association has been given the opportunity to spread awareness in all the districts under the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation Plan (SVEEP).

Speaking to the media persons at an interaction organised at Shridevi College Grounds on Monday, Singh said that the main aim of the campaign is to educate and motivate voters.

"Campaigning via road is a laborious process. However, doing the same with a para glider is faster and more effective. The para-glider will definitely catch people's attention. We shall hang a banner that carries the message, vote for assembly elections on May 5," he said.


Singh further pointed out that he can fly three hours a day from 5 feet to 18,000 feet with his para-motor-trike. "I can definitely cover a radius of 150 to 200 kilometres everyday," he added.

Speaking on how the election awareness started via air, Singh said that the method was first adopted in Meghalaya to create awareness in rural areas.

"I used to fly over a golf course in Meghalaya. Last October, Meghalaya's West Garo Hills DC Praveen Bakshi appointed me to create awareness on elections with my para-glider. I used to fly over villages and drop pamphlets. This method created a lot of awareness. Praveen Bakshi has been nominated for the Presidential award for introducing the novel initiative. After that, the Election Commission has appointed me to visit various states to create awareness," he said.

In Karnataka, Singh has already flown over Bangalore, Mysore, Chamrajnagar, Ramnagar, Mandya and Hassan. After flying over Mangalore on Tuesday, Singh will head to Udupi and later to Karwar.

Singh has also been appointed to create awareness during the assembly elections of the other states also. "This is a new method and creates awareness as well as excitement. It gives people a feeling that something big will happen. In DK district awareness is created in Mangalore city as well as villages near-by. Mangalore urban area needs awareness as the voting rate is quite low than the rural areas," said DK DC Harsha Gupta.

Singh was supposed to give a demonstration to journalists at Shridevi College grounds on Monday. However, due to the presence of Nimbus clouds, he canceled the demo. Singh will be in touch with the Air Traffic Control Tower for smooth functioning.

Para-gliding is effective and economical method for creating awareness, conducting search operations, disaster management, distributing medical kits and also commercial activities.

Till now, Meghalaya Paragliders Association is working with the government and has not yet stepped into the corporate sector, he added.

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