Deepa Malik doesn’t need an introduction. The 46-year-old has inspired millions with her willpower. She is the first Indian woman to bag a silver medal in shot put at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil. But what many don’t know is that she is also a fashion lover.
Her daughter, Devika Malik, a para-athlete herself, shares that Deepa has won several beauty contests. “My mom loves dressing up. She has bagged many beauty contests. One was before she got the tumour. It was organised by defense services. She was also the showstopper of a cancer awareness programme. She has participated in many jewellery shows as well,” says Devika who believes that her mother’s biggest strength is her optimism.
“She knows how to be happy even in the worst of the situations. Her tumour left her with a damaged spinal cord but she didn’t give up. Despite being paralysed from waist down, she was full of courage. Nothing could ever stop my mom from realising her dreams,” says the 25-year-old. Devika is delighted with her mom’s victory. “My mother had participated in three world championships. This win was long overdue. ”
Devika recalls how her mother put in her best to ensure the win. “She was totally devoted. Mornings were dedicated to muscle strengthening exercise and she kept evenings for shot put,” she says.