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"Don't Need Pity Or Sympathy; Only Want To Be Empowered," Says Paralympic Silver Medalist Deepa Malik

Written By Narayan R | Mumbai | Published:

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  • In 2012, Deepa Malik was recognized by the country for her achievements in sports, and was given the Arjuna award
  • She was the first Indian women to win medal for the country in Paralympic Games

India celebrated it's 72nd Independence Day on Wednesday, and on the occasion, Republic TV broadcast a special show named 'Heroes of India' to honor the unsung heroes of our country. One of the those who participated in Republic TV's special broadcast was paralympic sportswoman Deepa Malik. She had created history in 2016 by winning Silver medal at the Rio Paralympics.  

Speaking to Republic TV, Malik spoke about the reason behind her success and how she managed to make the nation proud.

"I think the one thing that has helped me definitely is the positive attitude, and the whole concept of following the journey of learning. I never stopped learning. Even today, going to the training area inspite of having a Olympic-level medal in paralympics, I still say I go there to learn," said Deepa Malik.

"I had to learn my new body. I had to learn to become a sportswoman. I had to learn to balance between my motherhood, being a homemaker and then dedicating all that time to sports to reach a level where you are competing internationally, raising funds and at the same time balancing the whole process, which was full of hard work, and a lot of sacrifices," she said.

Malik further spoke about her life as a specially-abled woman, and said that it shouldn't bother an individual, adding, "People will look at you the way you look at yourself. I did not want pity or sympathy. I wanted to be empowered, I wanted help in a way which made opportunities for me, and not feel sorry for me."

"So when I say I look for help, it is only for me to raise my bar and to challenge myself for new things, new achievements, new aims which are not just self-centered but also value addition goals, whether it is working towards the policies  for sports or motorvehicles act for licensing, or to send out a loud and clear message to the society that people in my disability or women in my disability cannot be brought into the society or they cannot contribute back to the country growth," said the Paralympic silver medalist.

She was the first Indian woman to win medal for the country in Paralympic Games. Malik made the nation proud by winning Silver at the Rio Olympics 2016 in shot put F-53 event.

The sportswoman suffered tragedy in 1999, after she became paralyzed from waist down due to a spinal tumor.

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Her success in sports arena is unmatchable. In total, she has won 21 medals on the international arena, and numerous National Gold medals. And the astonishing fact which sets her apart from others is that she is not confined to just one sport. Apart from shot-put, she has been extremely successful in swimming, discuss throw and javelin throw. 

In 2012, she was recognized by the country for her achievements in sports, and was given the Arjuna award. Malik became the oldest recipient in the country's history to be bestowed with this award. Further, she has four LIMCA records to her name, two of which she won for her 1 km swim in Yamuna against the current.

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