This one is both for a cause and fun. If you are free next Sunday (June 18) and love to drive around then drop in with your family at Hotel Fortune Pandiyan to participate in a car rally that is going to be different. You will be in your vehicle and also at the wheel but you will be navigated by a person who cannot see.
The Insight car rally is back for the fourth consecutive year as an annual fund raising event of the Madurai Ladies Circle 08, the women’s wing of the Madurai Round Table 14. And the team led by chairperson Meena Arun is working hard to garner more participants for the rally this year.
People who participated last year gave us the feedback that they were overwhelmed by the experience of being guided by a visually impaired person,” says Meena, who was the convener fund raising last year. “Some even promised to return for the next edition with more friends as participants.” The first three rallies saw 30 to 40 cars joining and this year the organisers are hopeful of closing at 50.
The ticket sales – at Rs.1,000 per family – are on. All that a participant has to do is to reach the venue on time with his or her valid driving licence. The 30-km route map for the rally -- that will start from and end at Hotel Fortune Pandiyan -- will only be revealed to the navigator. “The driver with normal vision will be dependent on their visually impaired navigators who will help them in finding the way to the finishing point with the help of small clues and directions given on the Braille road map,” explains Meena.
Anybody above 18years and with a valid driving licence can participate in the car rally that will be conducted on the Time-Speed-Distance model of any professional rally. There will be 10 marshal points to check the time frame and speed of each vehicle. While every participating family will get a kitty full of goodies and lunch at the end of the event, the driver and the navigator of the top three teams will receive gift vouchers worth Rs.15,000, Rs.10,000 and Rs.5000 each from Pothys, Ibrahims and ARAS Appliances respectively. “This kind of an event helps to create awareness among people that when given an opportunity the visually challenged people can also use their skills. Any disability can be overcome with the right push and encouragement,” says Meena.
Promising the Sunday morning to be fun-filled and geared towards family bonding, Meena assures the participants will surely find the driving experience to be wonderful and satisfying. “Usually people who can see lend a hand to the visually challenged but now it will be reverse as those with normal vision will be guided,” she notes. Her request to all ticket holders and those who come for on-the-spot registration to be on time because the counters will close sharp at 10.30 a.m.
The MLC08 is part of the Ladies Circle India, an organisation of apolitical and non-sectarian women. The young energetic members keep doing community service projects through funds raised from various events. The funds raised from the Insight car rally feed one of their long term projects, “Educate to enlighten” under which educational infrastructure is developed and aid provided to needy underprivileged children. So far 25,000 children have benefitted under this scheme.
The car rally is organised in collaboration with the Indian Association for the Blind. The Hindu is one of the media partners for the event. For tickets and more details contact 9489094857