Kerala: 11-month-old girl sent on solo parasailing by parents

Kerala: 11-month-old girl sent on solo parasailing by parents

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Kannur, May 22, 2014 : Eleven-months-old Niya Nisam loud bawling did not deter her parents from sending the infant parasailing alone 50-ft up in the sky at Muzhappilangad beach here on Wednesday afternoon.


Hours later, district police chief P N Unnirajan, who attended the adventure sport event, said he would register a case under the Juvenile Justice Act against the organizers.


"When I was asked to flag off (the event), I refused, saying that making a child to parasail alone is against the rules. But they said that one of the parents will accompany her. I believed them and left the place before it began," he said.



The event was organized by Malabar Aero Sports Society (MASS) a Kozhikode-based adventure sports and tourism organization. The little para-sailor is the granddaughter of Safar Ahmed, general secretary of the organization.


MASS said the event was aimed at popularizing parasailing. It claimed to have imparted "proper training" to the infant.


A senior paediatrician, however, pooh-poohed the "training" argument. "It’s not age-appropriate learning. An 11-month-old cannot learn parasailing just like that," Dr Sachidananda Kamath, state president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, said.


The district tourism promotion council (DTPC), the licensing authority for such events on the beach, said the event was conducted without permission. DTPC secretary Saji Varghese said that the council later received a letter from the organizers, apologizing for conducting the event without permission.


Organizer Safar Ahmed said the event was not a commercial one and hence there was no need for any licence.


"We had sent a letter by post to the authorities concerned, intimating them about the event. The letter might have got delayed, leading to the confusion. So we handed over the letter again to the district collector and the DTPC, thus solving the issue," he said.


To a question on whether any rules were flouted, Ahmed replied in the negative. "There is no prescribed age limit for this event in India. Further, the parents of the little girl had given their consent and signed the indemnity bond."


Ahmed said Niya’s mother Safreena Nisam, now undergoing training for commercial pilot licence, had parasailed solo at the age of eight in 1995 in Kozhikode.


"Probably Niya is the youngest solo para-sailor in the country. It was sad that our bold, successful move was misinterpreted," he said, adding that all security measures, including a rescue van, was ensured at the site.


The state child rights panel took a suo motu case into the incident. The Edakkad police, too, have registered a case.


Praneetha P, special officer of the Adventure Sports Academy at Muzhappilangad, said Niya’s flight was in breach of rules.


"According to the ministry of tourism guidelines, the age limit for water sports is 14 years, and for float trips this can be brought down to 10 years. Since the same rules can be applied to aero sports too, this is illegal," she said, adding that the child’s rights, too, was violated.


Incidentally, district collector P Balakiran had suffered injuries when he crash-landed at Payyambalam while inaugurating a paragliding event on May 2.




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Comments on this Article
Jack, Delhi Mon, May-26-2014, 3:14
My favourite part: "all security measures, including a rescue van, was ensured at the site" Risking an 11 month child to crash from hundreds of meters? A plastic bag would do the job... why bother with a "rescue van". Everyone present who didn t try to stop this should be jailed.
Margarita Dalmieda, Karkala/Canada Thu, May-22-2014, 6:28

This is crazy. world is becoming more technical than the human respect. Parents are may be feeling proud now. if God forbid happened or gone something wrong, the same parents would have taken the authorization to the court. Would have blamed the police. I am also a mother. if that child was born from the womb of the same lady who was carrying the child, she would not have send that child for para sailing. If you want to promote that game do not use the innocent child as a doll. That doll has a life. Come on you people.

Kunal Shetty, /M loreDubai Thu, May-22-2014, 3:57
I dont understand, finally what parents want to achieve from 11 month old kid?
Rashmi, Banglalore Thu, May-22-2014, 3:55
What kind of adventure is this?, As a parent of 3year old, we never let our child alone even in the washroom. How can they be such irresponsible?. Even with parent or companion this could result in disaster, thank god nothing happened. May be she wants to get some extra likes on her Facebook picture and make a record, stupidity at its best.
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