Gone are the days when women are confined to being passive spectators. Off late, Nepalese women are encroaching in paragliding.
Prativa Bogati, 24, always longed to fly up high in the sky. Today, she is living her dreams and is is one of four Nepali women who are licensed commercial paragliding pilots. She got her licence 3 years back and has been operating as a commercial paragliding pilot since then. High cost of training and lack of parental support are the two main reasons behind women lagging behind in this field in the context of Nepal.
“Although my husband was supportive, my family wasn’t too pleased with my choice, they thought I was crazy for trying to make a career out of jumping off mountains,” Bogati laughs.
The journey to becoming a paragliding pilot was not easy for Bogati. She had also worked as a receptionist in a paragliding company while simultaneously undergoing her flight training which lasted two years and cost Rs 1.7 million. The money financed by her husband was not enough for her training and thus they had to take bank loan.
Her hard work finally paid off when she flew her first passenger as a tandem pilot. Her son was one of her first clients. “He is happy and proud to say his mom is a paragliding pilot,” says Bogati. Years of hard work finally turned out to be fruitful.
Bharat Timilsina, the owner of FlyNepal Paragliding Company, is proud to have Bogati among his crew and says she is one of his most popular pilots. “There are many customers who ask specifically for her to pilot their paraglider,” he says.
This post has been excerpted from the original blog post up on www.nepalitimes.com with the author’s permission. Click below to read the full version: