“My body was paralyzed, my soul was not”
– Deepa Malik
An Arjuna awardee who overcame 3 spinal surgeries, 183 stitches between her shoulder bones and a spinal tumour went on to win a silver medal at Rio Paralympics.
The Life Story
Deepa Malik, India’s first female para-athlete to win a medal at the Paralympics, said she discovered her abilities beyond the disabilities and overcame the stereotypes which surrounded her physical condition.
For Deepa Malik, life has never been able to pose an obstacle that could dim her spirit. Brought up in a family of Army Personnel and wife of an armed forces officer she was accustomed to overcoming challenges that the vast majority of us can’t even think of.
She experienced 3 spinal surgeries and got 183 stitches between her shoulder bones in 14 years, after being diagnosed with a spinal tumour. All of this could not break her, rather made her more determined.
Speaking at an event, Malik said, “It is about how you make your choices. When I was in the hospital, I could have cried and cried because I was not going to walk again but I think with all this also and at my age, I look hot, I looked inside me I said Deepa what all can you do from this body to send out loud and clear message that there is ability beyond disability and it is mind over body and I start investing in happy thoughts.”
Records that make history
She was shortlisted for the 2012 London Paralympics, however, she missed her opportunity as India sent all male contingent of 10. But next time, she was one of India’s 19 Paralympians at Rio Olympics 2016 and brought us a silver medal in shot put. Apart from such astounding achievements, Deepa is also good at Javelin throw.
At the National level, Deepa has won around 54 awards to add to the 13 at International level in Javelin throw, Shot put and swimming.
Her astonishing accomplishments are a realm of sports and her enthusiasm to fulfill her dreams got her an Arjuna Award in 2012.
Deepa Malik thanked the government for giving her the opportunities and appealed all women to come forward and take part in the policies and schemes that have been created to enable and empower the dream of women.
A True Source of Inspiration
She is a great example of grit and courage for many of us. She is about will, the pledge to succeed and about unending thirst to make the nation proud no matter what the circumstances. Get up and break the stereotype, think outside the box, create opportunities and continue to learn.