Visually impaired turn navigators during car rally

“Take left and move straight at a speed of 25   km/hour.  Be careful while driving,” were the words from a visibly excited visually impaired person sitting in the car, guiding the driver with the route he was unaware of.

Yes, you read it right. As many as 65 visually impaired persons from nine different institutes turned navigators for the car drivers who participated in a unique ‘Be My Sight’ car rally organised by the Mysore Amity Round Table – 156 on Sunday. As the route comprising a distance of 90 km was kept a secret, the role of the guide was played by visually impaired persons who had the entire route map with them in Braille.

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While the drivers seemed a bit edgy as everyone was looking at finishing number one, their guides had that impish smile as they were the one who could help them achieve their goal. The essence of pride was evident in them as they led the path.

“I am excited to be participating in the rally and playing a vital role in it. It is for the first time that I have been asked to help a sighted person with the route map. Looking forward to a great experience,” a visually impaired participant told City Today prior to the start of the rally.

The rally, flagged off by the former Indian cricketer and current ICC match referee Javagal Srinath, was time-speed-distance rally where participants were asked to maintain said speed to cover the distance. There will be surprise check points on the way, where the speed of the driver will be checked according to the distance covered. If the driver is driving above or below the speed limit, penalty points will be given. The driver who gets the least number of penalty points will be declared the winner.

The event had a participation of 180 contestants with 65 cars and is aimed at spreading awareness about the challenges, abilities and achievements of the visually impaired community.

Srinath described the rally as a good impetus for visually impaired persons in Mysuru. The rally, he said was a great attempt to mobilise the visually challenged persons and instil in them a sense of participation in the mainstream world. “Nothing could have been better than this,” he said.

He further said that participation in such event itself makes everyone a winner but the real winner will be decided on the level of their patience and tolerance throughout the journey.

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