Biker. Rally driver. Swimmer. Athlete. Paralympian. Deepa Malik is all of this rolled into one. And more.
Just like champions, she treads a path that others may not have.
She has worked for several years towards spreading awareness about the capabilities of the specially-abled. Despite all odds, she worked hard and became a champion at her chosen sport, shot put. For her a number of other accolades have followed.
Deepa Malik is the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games. She won a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in 2016. Deepa has completed the longest cross country drive by a paraplegic woman, between Chennai and Delhi, covering 3278 kilometres.
Deepa was diagnosed with a tumour when she was six. The upper spinal cord tumour had to undergo regular treatment. Over the years, they reappeared and had to be operated upon, during which seven of her vertebral discs degenerated. In 1999, a post-surgical trauma left her paralysed from her waist down.
Her husband was busy fighting for the country during the Kargil war when she got to know that she will never be able to use her legs again.
With the reality of being confined with movement staring her in the face, Deepa took to training and dreamt of a day when she could get back to being a biker again. After a long period of training, she got a custom-made motorcycle and set a record for riding the first bike made for paraplegics in 2009, for which she found a mention in the Limca Book of Records.
While her treatment continued, she did not give up on her other activities, becoming the first specially-abled person to swim for a kilometre in the Yamuna against its current.
Limca Book of World Records recognised the champion for her consistently path breaking feats.
Watch Deepa’s video here: