Deepa Malik urges more youth participation in Paralympics
“There was a time when people though that I would die in one corner of my room due to my disability. But I never gave up and always focused on my aim reminding myself that my body is paralysed not my soul.” said Parathlete Padma Shree Deepa Malik.
Panaji: Questioning that what took the nation so long after its Independence for a woman to win a medal in the Paralympics, parathlete Padma Shree Deepa Malik said that people should take responsibility to make society accessible and inclusive so that it does not take another seventy years to win the next medal.
She was speaking at the 13th edition of D D Kosambi festival of ideas at Kala Academy on Tuesday.
Malik who is also the face for government’s initiative of Accessible India said, “There was a time when people though that I would die in one corner of my room due to my disability. But I never gave up and always focused on my aim reminding myself that my body is paralysed not my soul.”
As I was heading towards my success, I had just two identities ‘crippled and lucky’. What nobody saw, was the immense hardwork and effort I was putting in to achieve those achievements, she added.
A rebel by nature, Padma Shree Deepa Malik is a phoenix who rose from her ashes after she was left paralyzed from waist down post her spine surgery way back in 1999. But her determination and undying will power help her grow through her odds. She was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award last year.
Sharing an anecdote from her life Malik said, “When I first started swimming at the age of 36 years, people laughed at me saying this is no age for any sports competition. When opportunity knocks your door you have to be confident to cross it. I registered myself for national swimming championship in 2006 and in one hour, three strokes, three gold medals, three national records were made.”
An inspiration to all, Malik is an epitome of strength, courage and confidence. She has won 58 national and 23 International medals across all disciplines to date. Recently, she was inducted the government’s All India Council of Sports (AICS) along with wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt.
NGOC announces official launch of National Games of India on Jan 31