Shot-putter Deepa Malik, who won a silver medal in the paralympics on Monday, is a resident of Gurgaon and member of a biking group based in the city. To celebrate her historic victory, Malik’s biking group is planning to hold a rally to welcome her when she returns from Rio on September 18. The rally will be held from the Delhi airport to her house in DLF Phase 1.
Members of the biking group, Team X-BHP, who had also gone to see her off at the Delhi airport while she was leaving for Rio, said they were confident of her win. Not just Malik’s biking group, but several civil society groups in the city are planning also to make the athlete’s return memorable for her.
Malik made history on Monday by winning the silver medal in women’s shot put F53 event, with a personal best throw of 4.61 metres.
Malik’s friend Ravi Dalal, who spoke to her on the phone after the victory, said she will return with her husband Col. Bikram Singh Malik and daughter De ika on September 18.
An elated Dalal, who is also a member of Team X-BHP, said the group has planned a warm welcome for Malik as she has made the nation proud by becoming the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympics.
“This is a not just a medal win but a victory over odds. This achievement is phenomenal. We are planning to organise a bike rally and throw a big party for her,” said Dalal. Apart from competitive sports like shot-put and swimming, Malik is fond of long-distance car rally and has completed a journey 3,000 km from Delhi to Leh in a specially designed hand-controlled car.
Another member of the bikers’ group Sunil Gupta said Malik has been a regular pillion rider with her husband
and her enthusiasm is infectious.
“All group members are thrilled by her victory and we will celebrate it in a big way when she returns,” said Gupta.
Meanwhile, residents of DLF Phase 1, where Malik shifted recently, are also thrilled by her achievement against all physical odds. They also plan to felicitate Malik on her return.
The para-athlete shifted to Gurgaon from Asiad Village in south Delhi six months ago.
“We were not aware that DLF Phase 1 had an Olympic medal winner. But now the residents are excited and have decided to conduct a big felicitation ceremony for the champion,” said RS Rathee, president, Gurgaon Citizens Council.
In an interview in 2013, Malik’s husband Col. Bikram Singh had told HT, “Deepa has never allowed her disability to affect her. Her name is also recorded in the Limca Book of Records for feats in swimming, biking and participating in rallies. She is passionate about sports and wants to feel adventure in the best possible way.”
Gurgaon deputy commissioner TL Satyaprakash also congratulated Deepa Malik on her victory, saying that her achievement has made the country proud.