As a child, he would beat up anyone who dared to call him “andha” or the blind one. Now he does not need to.
Last week, he beat 33 people with his navigational skills at a car rally and emerged the winner.
Meet Vipin Malhotra, who navigated a car through a distance of 50 km in one hour and 10 minutes at a car rally held in Delhi. He did this with the help of a map which had instructions in Braille.
The car rally was organised by the National Association for the Blind (NAB) and the Empress Club last week. And the women drivers were guided by blind navigators.
Thirty one-year-old Vipin has been blind since he was six months old.
He was born with eyesight in one eye. But he had a squint. When he was six months old, his parents decided to get the squint corrected through surgery. Unfortunately, something went wrong. And, instead of losing the squint, he lost his eyesight.
But, in the past 31 years, Vipin has made sure that the loss of sight did not flag his spirits.
Vipin finished his schooling in a blind school in Panipat, Haryana. After graduating from the Hindu College in Delhi, he went on to complet an MA. and M.Phil with the Delhi University. He now teaches political science to undergraduates in Aurobindo College, at the Delhi University.
He had to appear in almost 50 interviews before he was selected. At one such interview, people asked him, “‘when normal people can’t find jobs, how can you?”
Not one to be affected by such thoughtless comments, Vipin continued to strive hard and was finally selected for three jobs. He opted for the one in Delhi. He was determined that he had to make his story a success story.
When he learnt about the car rallies organised by the NAB, he decided to give it a go. He first took part in the rally in 1990. He was a raw newcomer to the sport and did not do too well.
But the determined Vipin continued participating in the rally every year. Till he won. In 1995.
After 1995, the car rally did not take place for five years. And, this year, when he heard about the rally, he knew he just had to make it to the top. And, he did.