Mangaluru: Round Table190/Credai to host ‘Guiding Stars’16’-a Treasure Hunt for Special Children

Mangaluru: ‘Mercedes Sundaram Guiding Stars 2016’, a 4-wheel treasure hunt for specially-abled children will be flagged off at Mercedes Showroom, Yeyyadi, Mangalore on Sunday, January 31st 2016 at 9:00 am. This is the sixth consecutive year that this event is being organized. This year’s event is being jointly organized by Mangalore Coastal Round Table 190 and CREDAI, Mangalore. With the presence and support of the citizens at this event will help make it successful and enhance its mission to champion the cause of specially-abled people” said Colin Pinto-Chairman, Mangalore Coastal Round table 190, while addressing media persons during the press meet held at Mangalore Press Club.

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President of CREDAI, DB Mehta speaking said that it’s a great privilege for Credai to join in this unique project along with Round table, where the specially-abled children who are not fortunate enough to have a gift of sight, speech or hearing will get a chance to be navigators to guide drivers to their respective destinations. “Credai is overwhelmed to join in this project for a good cause”, added Mehta.

Speaking to mangalorean.com, Nishanth Shet- Vice Chairman of Round Table India Area 13 said “I cannot see, I cannot speak but I will guide you on your path’- Can this be true? During ‘Guiding Stars’, a 4-wheeler treasure hunt, Mangalore Coastal Round Table 190 makes this a reality. Specially-abled children who are not fortunate enough to have the gift of sight, speech or hearing – from the Roman & Catherine School for the Blind, and SDM Mangala Jyothi Integrated School, Vamanjoor – will turn into navigators to guide drivers to their destinations. How do they do it? “

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“The route for Guiding Stars is scripted in Braille – a language that the visually challenged use to read and through ‘Charade clues’ for children who are hearing and speech challenged. Braille consists of a series of dots or indents made on thick paper. To a sighted person this will look like a set of random indents, but when those who understand braille run their fingers over these dots, they are able to read out the message represented therein. Each letter of the Alphabet and each numeral has a specific representation. This is how a visually challenged child can tell the sighted driver where to go. Charade clues will lead to ‘Charade-Kiosks’ that will have been setup at various points along the treasure path. At these kiosks, speech challenged children will perform some form of charade to decode the clue. The participants will have to decipher the answer from the actions of the children and fill out the clue” added Shet.

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Naveen Cardoza-secretary of Credai said, “The chief event sponsor for Guiding Stars 2016 is Mercedes Sundaram Motors. Yatish Baikampady and Issac Vas have supported the event by designing the route for the treasure hunt just as in all the previous years. There is no participation fee for either the children or the public. The car that solves the maximum clues in the optimum time is the winner and all winning team participants are given a trophy. Each child who participates in the event is rewarded for their participation as they are the true stars of the day. Every participating team is given a framed photograph of their flag-off memento for their participation. During the past five years, a large number of Mangaloreans and local businesses have provided financial support for this event. This has helped MCRT 190 with many charitable projects including those for special children. These include JAWS software that helps the challenged children with computer usage and braille books to enhance their learning”.

Neil Rodrigues – Co-ordinator of the event “Guiding Stars 2016 will take place on Sunday 31st January 2016 with around 50 specially-abled children participating. MCRT 190 welcomes participation from the public for this event. In order to align the participants with the number of visually / speech and hearing challenged navigators, it is necessary to pre-register for the event. Pre-registration is simple and hassle free by calling the number 99802-81979. There is no participation fee or charge. All that is required is a 4 wheeler and a mindset. The specially-abled children will be assigned to each participating car by the organizers. Please bring your cars and come support our guiding stars”

“The chief guest for the flag off is will be U. T. Khader, Hon. Minister for Health and Family Welfare and J.R. Lobo, MLA, Mangalore South. Capt. Ganesh Karnik, MLC, South-west teachers’ constituency.The route map is provided by the ‘Bykampady Vidyarthi Sangha’. The special children are from ‘Roman and Catherine School for the Blind’ and ’SDM Mangala Institute of Integrated Learning’. For more details Visit us on Facebook facebook.com/MCRT190 CREDAI-Mangalore” added Rodrigues.

About the Event : You Drive. They Navigate!

Guiding Stars Treasure Hunt is a unique treasure hunt involving specially-abled children, who collaborate with participants from the public.

– A team is formed by a licensed driver of a car and a special child as a navigator (The special child may be visually or speech and hearing challenged)

– The clues and map are provided in Braille – the script used by visually challenged people to read and write or through ‘Charade Kiosks’

– The team is challenged to go through all points on the designated route map and answer all questions on the provided questionnaire.

– Some of the clues will lead to designated “Charade-kiosks” along the route map. At these kiosks, speech and hearing challenged children serving as navigators will perform actions that will have to be deciphered to identify the answer.

– The team that solves the maximum clues in the optimum time by visiting all the designated spots and kiosks, while picking maximum number of treasures is judged the winner

– The treasure hunt challenges o the participant driver’s skills to meet the objective within the stipulated time, speed and distance criteria o the navigator’s skill to read and understand Braille / Charade clues and effectively o the participants’ skills to understand and communicate with their specially abled navigators and answer the questions correctly

– By promoting close coordination between the driver, the visually challenged / speech and hearing impaired navigators and challenging them to jointly interpret the clues along the route, this event promotes inclusivity and openness where people overcome their inhibitions and communicate across natural barriers.

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