CHENNAI: With just a simple navigation map in braille, a group of 73 men, women and students with visual disability took out a car rally that took the city by storm on Sunday morning. Covering 40 km in two hours, the group teamed up with drivers and co-passengers for the day, for the rally organised by O2 Health Studios and Savera Hotel along with Madras Motor sports and the National Association for the Blind.
The drivers had to work as a team with their visually challenged navigators and make it to the finish line to grab the grand prize. “We had pit stops, I reached a point where I was a little frustrated because we took a wrong route after the half point,” said Anu Agrawal, core member of the Duchess Club and one of the contestants who was guided by a visually challenged teammate.
“But the important thing is, we learnt to laugh at it and work as a team despite the mistakes. That was the best part and our navigator really enjoyed herself very much,” she adds.
Anu had registered under the ‘All Women’ category, which was one of the eight that took the wheels on Sunday. Other categories included students, experts, regulars and novices.
Cutting through Saidapet, Adyar and other major parts of the city, these teams followed a strict ‘time-speed-distance’ concept where points were deducted for speeding or slowing down. Chandrasekhar, Honorary Secretary, National Association for the Blind said that the event goes a long way in forging team work and friendship among the visually challenged. “It boosts their confidence to be able to be a core part of something like driving, and the fact they can work in a team also gets them to socialise and make friendships,” he said.