Car rally for visually impaired in Siliguri
In a unique event, 60 visually impaired participants took part in a car rally guided by Braille maps and assistant drivers. The participants assisted their drivers through a 200 km track in Siliguri. The event was organised by a non-profit, non-political organisation.
Speaking about the event, Manish Goliwal, Secretary, Siliguri Round Table India 220, said “The basic idea behind holding this rally is to encourage the blind people and to bring them to the forefront of the society. The idea is that a sighted person is driving the car and the blind man is the navigator who is navigating with the help of a route chart which is given to him in Braille. The navigator is in total control of the car, the driver who is a sighted person does not know what is happening. He is just driving. He doesn’t know what speed and which direction he has to go. It is the blind man who is guiding him.”
The participants are said to have been ecstatic at their ability to control the cars. Participant Raj Kumar Naskar emphasized the importance of Braille and commended the event for spreading awareness, “Braille plays a major role for a blind man because that helps him to read. There are blind people who haven’t learned Braille, so this sends a message about the importance of Braille. This initiative has let the blind people to be a navigator for the day and feel empowered.”
This is the second such race that was held in the city and the organizers said that it helps spread awareness of the talents of disabled people and also, encourages these people to join the mainstream.