She has witnessed it, faced it and seen it all - the delays, the discriminations, and the apathy. Once a victim herself, Padmashree and Khel Ratna awardee Deepa Malik, now wants to change it all -- and if she succeeds, it could well be a "payback time" for her 'perpetrators.' Filing her nomination for the post of Paralympic Committee of India president, Deepa now aims wants to bring about a fundamental change in the structure & functioning of the Paralympic Committee of India.
“I must give something back to the game which has given me so much. Till now, I have been representing my country. Now, I have filed my nomination for the presidentship because I want to bring an athlete perspective. Its high time that athlete starts getting heard. Being an athlete, I know what they go through and what they need. I know the emotional, physical, financial ups and downs an athlete goes through, especially when federation becomes unstable and then gets suspended by the government,” Deepa told Republic TV in an exclusive interview at her Gurgaon residence today.
“I will my best shot once the dust settles down and tenure begins and if I am entrusted with this duty, an honest perspective for the athletes and I will ensure everything goes as per plan. I do not know what the result would be but it’s just an effort to make a statement that athlete needs to be heard now,” Deepa added.
Explaining the reason why she has put her in the ring for the top post, Deepa said,
“I have put my name out of the blue because I want stability and rule of law. There is no order and system. PCI got suspended many times. If the federation is suspended and the athletes are not even playing for India I think that becomes very crucial situation, it definitely hampers the morale of the athlete, the uncertainty that when will my entry go, will the government approve, will I get enough funding for myself to go and represent the country is all bad for the situation in the country. I think it is time to become a mainstream competitive sport and India is doing well, we have a lot of potentials."
The Sports Ministry had suspended PCI earlier this year for violating sports code and is due to hold fresh elections for the new tenure and the process for filing the nominations has begun. Currently, the announcement for the results of PCI is on hold as a petition has been filed in Court, which has ordered a stay on the allegation that PCI has not followed the proper norms of calling "free and fair" elections.