Half Of Her Body Paralysed, Here’s How This Para Athlete Won India 11 Medals

Written by , Beauty & Lifestyle Enthusiast Chaitra Krishnan Beauty & Lifestyle Enthusiast Experience: 5 years
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Most of us have dreams and goals in our life or at least, would have had at some point of time. But, how many of us actually work towards those dreams? We always have excuses, don’t we? Either it’s lack of time or lack of confidence. And sometimes, it’s a lack of money that we think is keeping us away from our dreams. Well, you don’t get anything worth fighting for without a fight. And, if Devika Malik could win 11 international medals for India, receive the Queen’s Young Leader Award, and co-found an organization that helps thousands of people in need—all with half her body paralyzed—you can do it too. If you haven’t heard of Devika Malik, the 28-year-old braveheart, who swam against the waves and set an example for each one of us, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will introduce you to Devika Malik and her Wonderwoman story that we make you smile and cry at the same time. Read on to know more.

Fighter From The Start

Image: Twitter

Devika Malik is the daughter of Padma Shri Deepa Malik and her husband Colonel Bikram Singh, who is a Kargil veteran. Devika was born as a premature baby with severe neonatal jaundice. The night she was born, she was hurried to the unit for critical care, which aided seven other babies. Devika survived miraculously and was one among the only two babies who did.

Right when the family thought everything was fine, a toddler Devika went out of her house into the streets to get hit by a motorbike. Soon, her family learned that the right part of Devika’s brain was damaged as a result of the accident, leaving the left part of her body paralyzed. This condition made her a hemiplegic for life. Even after she recovered 60 percent of the left part function, she was still paralyzed and faced many challenges growing up.

In an interview with an online media channel, she said, “As a child who walked differently, albeit with a limp, since I had difficulty balancing on my left side, the other students in the school mocked me. I remember being a six-year-old, crying to my mother about how everyone made fun of me. She tried to pacify me, saying that she could come to my school and speak to my teachers and classmates. But, that wouldn’t help me in the long run. Since my father was in the army, we changed schools every two years, so she told me my best bet would be to explain my medical condition to my classmates.”

Drawing Inspiration From Her Mother

Image: Twitter

When Devika was eight, her mother Deepa Malik became paralyzed after tumor surgeries in her spinal cord. This put the whole family in deep sorrow, but Deepa Malik, as we know, is a woman of true strength. Apart from being the pride of a whole nation, she’s a terrific mother as well. The Paralympic silver medal winner is also a biker and a motivational speaker. Devika grew up watching her mother handle all her responsibilities without giving heed to her disabilities. This helped her fight through her problems and aim for better things in life.

“We grew up with the synergy, where I would have to help her with some physical tasks, but since I was very young, she would explain to me exactly how to tackle them. My father was serving in Kargil, so my mother and I practically raised my younger sister together. We have an inseparable bond. I saw the way she coped with her disability to become the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic medal. Before her disability, she was a wonderful homemaker. But, she did not have other ambitions. Biking, swimming, and other sports were just hobbies. But she turned these passions into a successful career. That, to me, is exceptional,” she said.

The Climb To Breaking Stereotypes

Image: Twitter

Devika Malik’s curiosity in sports is acquired from her mom and the rest of her family, who are all fitness lovers. When she started joining her mother in different para-sport training camps and competitions, she realized that she too wanted to give it a try. By 2016, Devika had already won three international and eight national medals in athletic events.

Along with her mother, Devika helps people who seek the help of the Wheeling Happiness Foundation, an organization that empowers thousands of people in need. Having a background in psychology gave her the confidence to counsel disabled people who were in need. Also, the foundation has provided wheelchairs to many disabled people in rural areas of our country.

Devika and her mother, Deepa, are truly one of the most inspirational mother-daughter duos the world has known. Their bravery, perseverance, and generosity are so inspirational that they have brought hope to the lives of many disabled people in our country. We salute your spirit, Devika!

Did you find Devika Malik’s story inspirational? What do you do (or would like to do) to uplift those who are in need? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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