The Inspiring Story of Deepa Malik

Deepa Malik, who became the first Indian woman and oldest athlete to ever win at a Para Olympics event, is a story of determination and courage. Her story is a story of willpower and how the human spirits can endeavour to rise above adversaries.

Deepa Malik’s settled life came to a sudden halt when she was diagnosed with a tumour in her spine for which she had to undergo 3 spinal surgeries and got about 183 stitches. Times were tough for her and her family as during those days her husband was fighting in the Kargil War. But as the adage goes “Tough times seldom last, but tough people do”; so it is true as far as Deepa Malik is concerned. She had never ever thought that she would not be able to walk again, but one never knows what challenges life brings. Deepa was left paralysis waist down and the doctors told her that she would never walk again.

Deepa Malik was born to a family of Army officers who was a born fighter. On being diagnosed with a tumour she was given an option between painless death or a paralyzed life. Being the fighter Deepa chose life. She decided to lead her life on her own terms and set an example for others. Deepa decided to chase her dreams despite her condition.

World of Sports and Achievements

Deepa Malik shifted to Delhi to train for her sports. She started off by joining the Himalayan Motorsports Association and conquered an 8-day 1,700 km bike ride to 18,000 feet in sub-zero temperatures. Along with biking she also took up swimming to make her shoulders strong.

Deepa Malik’s achievements have been entered in the Limca Book of Records 4 times. Her records were for:

  • Completing the longest drive in India (3,278 km from Chennai to Delhi) in 2013.
  • Deepa was the first paraplegic woman to drive to Khardunga La pass, the highest motor able pass in the world.
  • She was the first paraplegic woman to ride a special bike for 58 km in 2009.
  • In 2008, she swam and crossed a 1 km stretch of the Yamuna River against the current.

Deepa’s achievements won her the Arjuna Award in 2012.She was also awarded the President’s Role Model Award in 2014. Winning the Padmashree in 2017 added one more feather in her cap.

Deepa Malik had participated in the Para Olympic games in 2010 and in 2012 but could not win any medal. Her hard work and persistence paid off finally when she made the nation proud by winning a silver medal in shot put in the 2016 Rio Paralympics in 2016.Overall; Deepa has won 58 national and 18 International medals in various categories that she participated.

Living her life on her own terms, Deepa Malik says that the only disease that she suffers from is happiness. She has proved that ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’.

Branolia Chemicals salutes the fighter Deepa Malik for her undaunting spirit and positive attitude.

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