Deepa Malik disproved many myths and became the first Indian to ever take home a medal from the Paralympics.
Accepting who you are is one thing, but what makes you unique is embracing your differences and using them to advance yourself. Deepa chose to create her narrative rather than letting one accident define her entire life.
Here are some essential details about Deepa Malik and her ascent to fame.
Biography of Deepa Malik
Age of Deepa Malik
Deepa is currently at 51 years having lived a well fulfilled life she continues being an inspiration to many.
Early Life, Education, and Family
Deepa was born into a North Indian family in the Haryana district of Sonipat. Her father is retired infantry colonel BK Nagpal. Deepa, who came from an army family, was a very active child who loved sports and participated in every sport offered. She graduated from Sophia College with a degree in English literature.
She also had a bike addiction, which helped her bond with Bikram Singh Malik, a fellow bike enthusiast who was an army officer at the time. After getting married, they continued to share their love of biking and bore two daughters, Ambika and Devika. Devika and Deepa share a special bond that is even stronger because Devika was born with a disability as well.
Devika started exhibiting the signs of hemiplegia, which limited the motions on her left side. In para-athletics, her daughter Devika has also participated in international competitions as a sprinter.
Deepa’s Motivating Career
While Deepa doesn’t think the same way as humans, we are used to it. Deepa stood up for herself in the most original way conceivable, letting go of her inhibitions and shattering social taboos. She may not be able to physically stand, but she has stood today for everyone who is physically unable and constrained by mental restrictions.
For seven years, Deepa ran a catering company successfully. She felt more emancipated as a result of the unfortunate turn of events. The Maharashtra government gave her the Swawlamban Award in particular for her independence.
In 1999, Deepa’s life suddenly changed when a spinal tumor was identified in her. She underwent three surgeries and 183 stitches but was still left with paralysis below the waist. Since then, Deepa has had to use a wheelchair, but her condition couldn’t keep her from being a free spirit. Deepa has repeatedly demonstrated that physical limitations cannot stop a strong mind.
When she turned 36, she started pursuing her sporting career. As one of India’s most accomplished para-athletes, she brought honor to her home nation by taking home a silver medal from the Rio 2016 Paralympics. She accomplished the feat in the women’s shot put F53 competition, throwing a personal best of 4.61 meters to become the first Indian woman to take home a medal in the F53 category.
She also won a medal at the IPC World Championships in addition to the Paralympic silver. She is the first sportsperson to take home a medal at three straight Asian Para Games. In 2010 and 2014, Malik won bronze and silver, respectively. At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, she competed brilliantly and took home two bronze medals in the discus F51 and javelin F53 events. She is a skilled swimmer, a lover of extreme sports, a cyclist, a businesswoman, and has had her name added not once, not twice, but four times to the Limca Book of Records.
In addition to numerous other competitions, Deepa has won medals at the IPC Athletics World Championship, IPC Oceania Asian Championship, Incheon Asian Para Games, and Open Athletics Championships. The gifted athlete has triumphed in competitions involving the shot put, discus, and javelin. She won the gold medal in the Asian Ranking 53 discus event at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in 2018.
Deepa joined the motorsports industry to raise awareness that people with physical disabilities may also obtain licenses and be independent and self-sufficient. To share this message and further the cause, Deepa has organized numerous rallies. She is the first physically challenged person in India to earn a formal rally license from the FMSCI. She competed in difficult vehicle rallies like Raid-de-Himalaya and Desert Storm in 2009 and 2010, respectively, as a navigator and rider.
Deepa’s Honors and Awards
- Padmashri Award, 2017
- President Role Model Award, 2014
- Arjuna Award, 2012
- Maharashtra Chhatrapati Award, 2009-10
- Haryana Karambhhomi Award, 2008
- SwawlambanPuruskar Maharashtra, 2006
- First Ladies Award – Ministry of Women & Child Development.
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (2019)
This exceptional woman has won 54 national and state-level medals, 18 medals at the world level, and not just one medal in one game. She was participating in swimming as part of her recovery, and at the World Championship in Berlin, she placed 10th.
She set a record for crossing Yamuna, the first of the four rivers she possesses, and it was listed in the Limca Book of World Records.
She took a bronze medal at the Asian Para Games in Guangzhou in 2010.
After winning the shot put F53 category silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics at the age of 46, Deepa became India’s sole female silver medallist in history.
She had been practicing for the discus throw, which would take the place of shot put at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She had already achieved success in this event by winning a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta.
She eventually resigned from the sport after the doctors urged her to do so due to her recurrent injuries, but not before winning the Arjuna Award in 2012 for her swimming accomplishments, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and the Padma Shri in 2019. She is a true inspiration to all.
Deepa is an all-rounder who has consistently astounded audiences with her incredible performances in sports, official capacities, motivational speeches, and much more. She overachieves due to her self-assurance and belief in herself, which ultimately results in a successful life. Hundreds of people with physical disabilities have found new hope thanks to her priceless words, and she keeps doing so.
Bikram Singh Malik
At the age of 30, Malik started her sporting career. She excelled in various sports disciplines, including shot put, swimming, javelin throw, discus throw, and even motorcycle riding. In total, she holds medals from 18 international competitions and close to 54 domestic competitions.
In total, she holds medals from 18 international competitions and close to 54 domestic competitions. In addition to her medals she holds many accolades in her name.