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Deepa Malik

Deepa Malik

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Published by K_Vision

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Published by: K_Vision on Jun 29, 2012
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07/06/2013

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Deepa Malik eDeepa Malik (
 दीपा 
 
मालिक 
)
is no stranger in the field of disability sports. A paraplegic with a strong resolve, she haswon numerous accolades for her participation in various adventure sports. Whether it is swimming against the strongYamuna current, or riding a special bike or even taking a shot at the Paralympics, she has done it all! Last October,
she became the first paraplegic to participate in the toughest car rally, the „Raid
-de-
Himalaya‟. In a tell
-it-all withD.N.I.S., Malik shares her experience with disability and what it took to take the long and arduous Himalayan road.National and international medals in swimming, shotput and javelin throw are just a few of the exhaustive list of activities that can be attributed to Deepa Malik. A promising athlete, she had participated in the formidable motor
sport event the Raid De Himalaya in 2009 and was honoured with the „True Grit Award for outstanding courage and
also in the desert rally storm.Malik  is not an ordinary person. She is a paraplegic, paralysed from waist down, but that has not stopped the 39-year-old from taking up challenges. The mother of two and wife of an Army officer, in fact, turned adversities intoopportunity and success. Life took a twist when a spinal tumor made walking impossible 11 years ago. Recalls her
daughter Devika, now 20, “I was only eight then and my sister Ambika was three. My father Col Bikram Singh Malik 
was fighting the Kargil war and coul
d meet us almost a year after the surgery.”
 
At home, Col Malik‟s wife was fighting a war of her own. The Army won the war and Deepa won her personal war.
Despite three spinal tumour surgeries and 183 stitches between shoulder blades, she came out a winner and has neverlooked back.Dr V K Batish, the neurosurgeon who operated upon her at the Research and Referral Hospital of the armed forces at
Delhi, is amazed by her progress. “In the 25 years that I‟ve been a neurosurgeon, I have never come across a perso
n
like her. Deepa‟s recovery and her subsequent achievements are amazing. She‟s the kind who can teach doctors andthe society at large,” he smiles. Deepa also runs a successful restaurant by the name Dee‟s Place in Ahmed Nagar,
where the family is settled.
Before her surgery, says Deepa, she was happy being a housewife. “I was very busy wearing branded clothes,decorating the house, getting into the typical rat race. Disability gave me focus. I am now on a mission called „Ability beyond Disability‟,” she s
ays matter-of-factly.
Deepa says she wants to change the outlook of patients and the society alike towards paraplegia. “The first thing
paraplegics do is stay indoors. They must understand its all right to be paralysed. You are alive, so live your life to thefullest. I agree we have a bladder and bowel issue, but there are ways and means of managing it. The world is there for
you, provided you are ready for the world,” she says cheerfully. For a woman who featured in MTV Roadies, Deepaadmits that she is “a true roadie in mind and soul.”
 
My „Raid de Himalaya‟ experience: Deepa Malik 
 I was not born with a disability. After 30 years of regular life, I became a wheelchair user due to three spinal surgeriesfor repeated tumors resulting into spinal cord damage and paraplegia. I could easily compare the two worlds, that of able bodied people and that of the physically challenged. I had the maturity to feel that a lot could be done in the fieldof disability in our country, starting from social outlook, acceptance of disabled, to their inclusion into the mainstream.I noticed that wheelchair users mostly remained at home. I felt a need to generate motivation among them, so that they
live a more wholesome life. This inspired me, and I set out on a mission called „ability beyond disability‟ in my own
little way. I had no clue what I had to do. But I felt that I had to contribute in some way or the other. Promoting

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