Gaurav Sharma wants the votes of residents of South Mumbai, India, and he’ll go to almost any lengths — or heights — to get them.
An Independent candidate for the lower house of the Parliament of India, Sharma is a martial-arts instructor better known as the Indian Spider-Man. Earlier this year he donned the familiar red-and-blue costume of the Marvel superhero to climb one of Mumbai’s tallest buildings in record time, but now he’s scaling apartment complexes and jumping from window to window and balcony to balcony to drum up support.
“That is what I do. I climb buildings. I am a performer,” he told Rediff.com. “I feel this is the best way I can reach out to my voters. I have lived in these gullies all my life. I was born and brought up here in Girgaum. These people know me personally and they like it when I climb their buildings and meet them through their window. Of course they take me seriously. Though my methods are unconventional, the janta knows the causes I fight for.”
The 31-year-old Sharma isn’t just another politician in an empty suit — er, costume — either: His focus is on child labor, employment, redevelopment, clean water and making “sure that women are respected.”
Sharma is just one of 116 candidates up for election on Thursday.