Parachute jumping for protection of human rights. How FightForRight visually impaired activists conquered sky
Extreme sports lovers, bright, courageous, resolute in defending their rights… It’s all about #FightForRight action participants. To draw attention to the issue of barrier environment and overcoming stereotypes about people with disabilities, they are ready to dive into the water along with professional divers, go parachute jumping…
As the action participants say – the visually impaired people overcome no less obstacles every day just to cross the street or get a job.
“Parachute jumping is apparently easier than making a city accessible and overcoming stereotypes,” 24-year-old action participant from Kyiv Darya Korzhavina said.
In early October, three visually impaired action participants were not allowed to skydive at the Chaika airport, saying people could not go parachute jumping because of a disability.
However, Darya, Maryna and, eventually, Bohdan, who joined them, proved that it is stereotypes and discrimination, not disability, that really limit.
After the first unsuccessful attempt, the journalists were astonished at the fact that people with disabilities were banned from skydiving in tandem with an instructor, although there were no real obstacles for medical reasons. This story broke into the open.
Very soon, Hennadiy Antiufeyev from the 5 Ocean club contacted the FightForRight organizers and invited participants, who were earlier denied, to jump.
As FightForRight action organizer Yulia Sachuk commented earlier, she called the club management several times to specify whether there would be really no obstacles for the visually impaired participants, but she was answered: “Come! We do not see any obstacles for jumping in tandem.”
Hennadiy Antiufeyev, the 5 Ocean club instructor, noted: “Different people have come to us, even those who had no arms or legs… men and women… journalists and politicians. We have apolitical zone here. It is very easy to die in this kind of sport. So, I track and stop any debate very quickly. People with disabilities? And what’s the difference?“
The jump from a height of 4,000 meters, 50 seconds of free flight, opening a parachute at the height of 1,600 meters, and subsequent 5-6 minutes of flight… The main thing in the tandem skydiving is confidence, Darya Korzhavina said.
35-year-old Maryna Starusiova from Kharkiv region has already gone diving and parachute jumping, and wants to climb the Hoverla Mountain.
Maryna said after the jump: “Not just my dream came true. I want to be worthy, equal among other people. I demand a lot of myself and I wish that people treated me with respect as I do.”
FightForRight organizer Yulia Sachuk added: “The coolest thing is that the action participants were treated as the athletes beginners at the field. No one noticed disability. After all, we wanted to show with this action that the main thing is not to circumvent the obstacles that often occur in the way of any person, but to equalize the opportunities that everyone can realize themselves.”
By the way, parachute jumps were paid for on common grounds within the actions. The participants did not expect and ask privileges or discounts for “disability”. They believed that they themselves are able to earn and pay taxes and services.
Photo credit – Iryna Vyrtosu, Human Rights Information Centre