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Visually challenged kids hunt for treasure

Mangalore, Nov 18, 2012, DHNS: 23:29 IST

30 cars take part in ‘Guiding Stars’ rally in Mangalore City

“We were very much excited. We even forgot that we are blind,” the words from Girish, a teacher of Chikmagalur Ashakiran School for Visually Challenged, were enough to understand the joy, excitement and spirit experienced by the 60 visually challenged children, who had participated in the ‘Guiding Stars,’ a treasure hunt for the visually challenged, organised by Mangalore Coastal Round Table 190 in City on Saturday.

Thirty cars, carrying students from Roman and Catherine Blind School from Mangalore along with the Chikmagalur School, took part in the annual treasure hunt competition for visually challenged. Each car comprised of a driver, his friends or family members, along with the students from these schools.

The treasure hunt, which started from Canara High School, Dongerkery, was composed of a series of clues, each one pointing to a treasure or subsequent clue. The clues were provided in Braille script, which means only the visually-challenged student, who knows to read the script, can act as the navigator.

In addition, each clue had two lifelines that were available on phone call to the helpline number.

A unique helpline number and a secret password were provided to each team at the start of the competition. The participants and navigators were given a maximum of 90 minutes to reach the end point of the hunt, at Gandhinagar Park.

“It is an opportunity for us to enjoy from our heart, forgetting the worries, and we actually did that,” said Nethra, a sixth standard student from Ashakiran. Roman and Catherine Blind School Principal Calistus D’Sa and Chikmagalur Ashakiran School for Blightless Children Principal B G Chandrashekar opined that these kind of programmes, will be able to create awareness among general public about the life of visually challenged and in urging people in extend hands to help.

Gururaj and Deepa from Roman and Catherine School and their driver Kiran Pai won the first prize in the hunt. Nethra and Baby from Ashakiran and their driver Roshan won the second place and Rakshith and Mohammed Kaif from Roman and Catherine with their driver Anirudh won the third place. The children ended their day with a grand lunch at endpoint and a day out at the Panambur beach.

Earlier MCC Commissioner Dr Harish Kumar and BJP City President Shrikar Prabhu participated in the inaugural function. Mangalore Coastal Round Table 190 Chairman Gulshan Roy, Vice Chairman Neil Rodrigues, Project Convener Sunil were also present during the programme.

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