The pages of sports history are filled with many inspirational real life events, none more intriguing than the story of Deepa Malik. She is an athlete who defied all odds and went on to win India's first Paralympics medal at Rio. It was the grit and determination of Deepa that saw her thwart other opponents and clinch a silver medal for India in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. While there are many sportsmen in India complaining about the lack of infrastructure, this lady showed how every other factor can be overcome if you have a goal set towards glory!
Deepa's fight against the odds started when she was only six years old. Doctors diagnosed tumours in her spinal column, which paralyzed the lower part of her body. Her mental strength helped her overcome multiple surgeries and get her life back. In the years that followed, she became engrossed in sports, emerging as a promising cricketer, athlete and adventure sports lover. But her healthy days were short lived. When she was 26 years old, Deepa started feeling weak in her lower limbs. On consulting doctors it was understood that the tumour was back and worse this time. She was given a choice between paralysis and death. When her husband, Colonel Bikram Singh, was fighting for his nation in Kargil, Deepa was waging her own war against death. She was getting 163 stitches between her shoulder blades!
Post surgery, her lower limbs got paralyzed and she had to take to the wheelchair. For any other woman this would mean the end of her sports career, but then Deepa is not common. She triumphed in her fight against her paralysis to keenly participate in sports of every nature. After recovering from the surgery, she started training harder than ever before, her motive was to overcome her physical incapability. In the midst of regular health checks and MRI scans, she slowly became one of the leading Javelin throwers in her category. In 2006, she had already established herself as one of India's leading Javelin throwers. But soon she shifted to shot put.
After making her mark in the 2010 Para Asian Games, there were high expectations from Deepa for the 2012 London Paralympics. However, she was not able to make the cut due absence of quota. Any other woman would have given up, but then we are talking about Deepa Malik. She tried harder, without complaining. The Rio Paralympics was a do or die for her, as she was already in her 40s. And this time, finally her fight against every odd paid dividend. She became the first ever Indian Woman to win a Paralympics Medal. All the accolades followed soon after. She was awarded the Arjuna award in 2012 and Padma Shri award in 2017.
Deepa Malik is is a role model for all those athletes wanting to make it big. And Tomorrow's India Global Summit 2017 gives you a chance to meet and hear her talk about Indian Sports and Struggles. Do not miss out on this rare opportunity.