"I took to street driving (just) a year ago, it was a moment of pride holding the trophy with my team" says an elated Rathiga B, winner of the ECO car category in the 6th Car Rally for the Blind 2012 held in June, in Bangalore. The rally is organised to foster friendship between visually challenged people and other citizens.

Navigator Keshava Murthy all set with his Braille route to start off the Rally. Pic courtesy: S Srikarunya

The organisers, 90 degree (an event management firm) and the National Association for the Blind, Karnataka teamed Rathiga with Keshava Murthy, an employee of Columbia Asia Hospitals and a visually challenged person. He was also the braille route reader for the rally.

Rathiga's co-driver was Mitresh S, a class VII student of Baldwin Boys High School. The co-driver is responsible for calculations based on time, speed and the distance to reach destination correctly, without penalties.

The blind car rally was a different experience for the participants with the event proceeds going towards many projects of the National Association of Blind.

Rathiga with her co-driver at the rally. Pic courtesy: S Srikarunya

The route was on normal city roads and Rathiga drove 55 kms to close the rally with 12 penalties. Rathiga says she bought an electric car, as it is easy on her purse. "I spend about Rs 12 a day". She says she can independently travel to office, shop or visit friends. She adds, it is easy to drive and small, "I never feel guilty occupying too much space in traffic" and that it causes no pollution.

Rathiga signs off with a request to Bangaloreans, "Let's be the leaders in reducing pollution. Save fuel by using public transport or eco vehicles and don't forget - car pool".