Visually challenged Man’s Rally flagged off at 9:15 am
Nagpur: A very famous American Attorney, Soldier and Writer Albert Pike rightly said that “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Many citizens of Nagpur came forward to participate in the Blind-Man’s Rally organized by Nagpur Round Table-83 in the city on February 21, 2016.
The objective of the office-bearers of Nagpur Round Table-83 in organizing the Visually challenged Man’s Rally was to integrate the visually challenged into the society. This objective seemed to have fulfilled by the enthusiasm and zest that was visibly observed in the participants which included the visually challenged people and the participants.
The concept is simple – it is a rally where the drivers follow the instructions and the directions given by the visually challenged. The drivers know nothing of the route, the stops, the distance to be traversed and the speed that they have to follow in each segment. The team would be penalized by 10 points per minute if they reach early and one per minute if they reach late (better late than early). When they are flagged off, all these details are handed over to their Navigators. The instructions are 100% in Braile since the Navigators are visually challenged.
Car Number one which was flagged off at 9:15 am to signal the Start of the Visually challenged man’s Rally was a completely Ladies Only vehicle. Driver behind the wheel was Suruchi Agrawal, and navigating for her was “Visually Challenged navigator” Ankita, who was looking very excited at the prospect. Even Ankita’s companion was a lady friend, no man in the car at all!
The second car was being driven by a lady too – Mithila Mukewar. She was being navigated by a visually challenged man though. This is the third year this rally is being held by the Nagpur Round Table. There was good response from Nagpurians, though it did not match the number of participants from last year. 2015 had seen almost 70 cars participating probably because of the school exams being round the corner. Another reason could be because it is unusually hot for this time of the year.
But the response from the team of Visually Challenged navigators was very enthusiastic. Over 70 of the Visually Challenged had turned up, men as well as women and were waiting eagerly to match up with drivers. Even when the rules were announced and questions invited, most of them were from the visually challenged – they couldn’t wait to start, and hopefully win, the rally!
The proceeds from this unique event go towards funding the construction of class-rooms and schools for underprivileged which the members of the Nagpur Round Table-83 have been passionately undertaking in a very dedicated and committed manner.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, the winner of last two years in succession, Saurav Mukherjee said that more and more citizens should come forward to participate in this rally. He said that one learns a lot from these visually challenged people. He claimed that these visually challenged need to be integrated in the main-stream of the society.
While explaining about how these visually challenged are better off than us, he said that on Saturday the February 20, 2016, they were paired off with the visually challenged person (based on the lottery system of drawing names), a trial run was carried out. He said that the visually challenged gave the instructions but since it had become dark, he was facing some difficulties while the visually challenged navigator had no such issues.
Most of the visually challenged navigators (about 70) had come from Rashtriya Drishtiheen Shikshan and Punarvasan Sanstha, Nagpur.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, another 70 years old visually challenged person named Laxman Hari Khapekar said that he worked as Lecturer in Porwal College for 20 years. He said that he is done his Masters in Arts, Master of Philosophy and Bachelor of Education. He had lost his sight at the age of 18 years when the nerve that supplies blood to his eyes just dried up. After retirement, he is running a School at Nagalwadi named Gyan Jyoti School for visually challenged. He said that he is very enthusiastic in participating in his rally. He has been participating in the event for the last two years.