Car Rally for the Blind in Chennai aims to become an all-India event!
For over 40 years, the Car Rally for the Blind has been bringing together people with an adventurous spirit from all across south India. The rally was started in Chennai by the Motor Sports Club and just recently the 11th edition was held in Bengaluru.
Among the participants was Malini MA, a retired music teacher, who has won the rally five times! This year's event saw 20 new participants.
The man behind the rally is Srikarunya Subrahmanyam. His company is into concept design and execution, and specialises in events for social causes. The Bengaluru rally was supported by JK Tyre as a co-sponsor.
The participants say that the rally is a major treat for visually impaired people. It has also helped bring out the talent in many blind and visually impaired people. Since it is usually held on Friendship Day, it gives people an opportunity to make new friends.
The Bengaluru rally was flagged off at Bannerghatta Road and covered a 50-km distance through Electronic City, and back to the mall. There were 32 cars, with one visually-challenged co-navigator and three other participants in each car.
The aim of the rally is to build friendship between sighted and people who are visually impaired. It is conducted in the Time-Speed-Distance format, also known as the regularity rally. The visually-challenged co-driver or navigator reads the instructions and route map in Braille. Each car passed through 10 checkpoints to reach the finish line.
In a regularity rally the driver has to maintain an average speed. There is a penalty for arriving early and arriving late at the checkpoint. The rally is tough as its held through city traffic. So it requires great cooperation between team members.
The organiser hopes to turn the rally into a championship event and ensure it happens across India. They also plan to take the event into smaller towns.