Deepa Malik (30 September 1970) is an Indian athlete who has won a silver medal in shot put F-53 Category with lifetime personal best performance of 4.61 meters at Rio Summer Paralympics 2016 making her first Indian woman ever to win a medal at Paralympics games. She has also won gold in F 53/54 Javelin event at the para athletic Grand Prix held in Dubai in 2018 and is currently in the world number one in the F-53 category. She has participated in Raid De Himalayas which is one of the toughest motor sports in India. It includes eight continuous days of driving and 1,700-km drive in sub-zero temperatures which included a climb to 18,000 feet (5,500 m).
Daughter of a veteran Infantry Colonel BK Nagpal, wife of veteran Colonel Bikram Singh and mother of two adult daughters, Deepa is the first paraplegic Indian woman biker, swimmer, car rallyist, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. She is a paraplegic, paralyzed from the waist down. She has braved 183 stitches between shoulder bladders and 3 spring and tumor surgeries in the past 14 years. Deepa was diagnosed with a spine tumor at the age of 8, her recovery took 3 years. In 1999, while her husband was in Kargil her tumor relapsed and the doctors were left with no other option but to operate, she was in coma for 25 days. After the surgeries, it took almost 6 years of physiotherapy to prepare her to start her career as a swimmer and then as a para-athlete. Today, she has over 53 national medals (47 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze) and 13 international medals in various sport including swimming, javelin throws, and shot put. She holds 4 Limca World records. She is the first paraplegic to receive rally license for rally vehicle and also receive an official rally license from Federation Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI). She is the only Indian woman to win medals in 3 consecutive Asian Para Games and set a New Asian Record in Asian Para Games 2018
She began taking the sport seriously at the age of 36. At the age of 45. she is the oldest member of the country’s Paralympics games. She is the receiver of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, President Role Model Award, Arjuna Award, Padma Shri Award, First Ladies Award – Ministry of Women & Child Development, and many more. She is also the ‘Clean India’ brand ambassador for NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation).
Life lesson– You’re never too old to start learning, and you’re never too young to aim high and achieve great things. You are never too old to dream, too –
- learn new art or hobbies
- pursue to passion,
- build your competencies,
- discover your talent,
- start a new venture/ career,
- enlighten your spirit,
- start the work you love.
It’s never too late for a new beginning in our life or to start again in fact, for everything.