The outstanding Deepa Malik
Disability is just in the mind. There’s no better human being to prove this than the great Deepa Malik. As much known as this name is all around India, her achievements go way beyond what meets the eye, especially when she won the silver medal in shot putting being a Paralympic in 2019.
Deepa Malik. Image Credits: scroll.in

Born on 30th September

Deepa Malik is one of the people of the country who has helped India reach new heights. How did she do that? Well, her biggest achievement of bagging the second position and bringing back a silver medal to India in the Paralympic that took place in 2019 was the cherry on top. That cherry was broadcasted being put on her sundae of achievements. Hence, its a very popular cherry that everyone knows about. However, the sundae is what actually makes the woman as special as she is, which remains unknown for the most part.

Moving down to the first and the deepest layer, Deepa Malik hails from the army background. She was married to the same. Hence from the beginning, she was a sporty and athletic girl. Her passion for sports followed her even after she got married and became a parent.

Unfortunately, Deepa had a sad revelation in her life that changed the whole course of her life and the way she would live it. A spinal tumor was detected when Deepa was just a five year old little girl. This detection made her go through a surgery and the treatment lasted for three whole years. Those difficult three years led to a brighter side and the tumor got cured. However, that brighter side wasn’t left shining bright for a long time. A bit later on in life, Deepa was once again detected with the same tumor. Once again, the hauntings were to return. Once again, our Indian athlete had to devote three years of her life to treatment and surgeries. However, this time, the side wasn’t as bright as before. Having undergone three surgeries, Deepa received a total of 183 stitches between her shoulders. Sadly, this treatment led to her lower body getting paralysed permanently.

This was the point in her life where she began proving that disability was just a state of mind. This was where and when the ‘champion’ Deepa Malik was born. Although Deepa took a long time of two years to get used to her new state of body and its problems, she eventually proved that she wasn’t a weak and helpless person.

Deepa Malik. Image Credits: indiatoday.in

Since she was numb from her waist down, Deepa made up her mind to make the working parts of her body, i.e., her arms and shoulders, stronger than they were before. In order to do this, she started swimming.

Deepa was a woman who aimed at excelling in everything and anything she did. Swimming was no different even when she was in a paraplegic state. Seeing her tremendous performance and success in the sport, she moved on to participate at national swimming competitions and events. It was very difficult to accept for everybody that a woman with a deadened body, effectively crossed the stretch of a whole km of Yamuna upstream in 2008 and turned into the first para-swimmer to cross the most noteworthy motorable crossing of the world.

By the time she turned 36 in 2009, she decided to make a switch to para athletics. This was usually the age and time in other athletes’ lives where they plan to retire. However, Deepa was on her path to prove that she was not just a champion but she was a champion like no other. Her journey moved a step up when she made her way to the Olympics 2016 and became India’s first woman to win a silver medal as a shot putter and para athlete.

By this time, Deepa wasn’t only excelling at being a para swimmer and a para athlete. She was also the first biker of her kind and also the first paraplegic person to receive a rally license for a modified rally vehicle. Not only was she a great navigator but since she had a license from the Federation Motor Sports Club of India, she also turned out to be a marvellous driver. By 2010, she had driven two of the toughest car rallies of the nation. By 2016, with her neck sticking out being the best Paralympic shot putter, Deepa Malik was a proud owner of 54 nationals medals, even more now. Not only this but in order to honour her exuberance and mind blowing performances making India proud, she was bestowed with the Arjuna Award in 2012, it being the highest sporting honour of the nation. Along with that, she is also a proud recipient of other honours and awards such as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2019.

In present, Deepa Malik has retired from being a para-athlete and continued to be in the capacity of presidency of the International Paralympic Committee, making it possible for all the paraplegic people out there to pursue their dreams of making India proud on international levels, bringing back medals just like once Deepa did, however, the only difference was that Deepa did it without any help.

Sara Gogna Author
I’m a person who just doesn’t get bored or panic or take stress for that matter. It’s all in the mind, and for me, it’s not there. Depression doesn’t exist for me and I don’t believe in panic attacks. It’s all in the mind and I’m just kidding.

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