From Wheelchair to Wheelchair Liberated, the Story of Deepa Malik, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

“I went from a wheelchair to a wheelchair liberated,” said Padma Shri Award winner and Indian Paralympic Committee Chairwoman Deepa Malik as she spoke during a session on the power of freedom. positivity to overcome challenges.

Malik suffered the first confinement of her life at the age of five, when she was diagnosed with a tumor that eventually left her wheelchair bound. On June 3, Malik ends 23 years in a wheelchair.

Malik remembers a childhood when she chose to paint and play with dolls rather than play sports, and her parents didn’t reject the idea.

Then came the first confinement of his life as a 5-year-old child in 1975. “It was not an era of communication. They didn’t have PlayStations, cell phones, and cable TV. As a child, my only source of entertainment was stories, where things ended happily ever after,” she recalled, alluding to her source of optimism.

She spoke of tender times when her parents were upset after people visited them and made heartbreaking statements about their child. “Mom cried in a corner. It was a rigorous three to five year period where, as a family, we understood the power of communication, teamwork, compassion and patience in an adverse situation.

“I learned the great lessons of life. It prepared me for my future,” she said.

The challenges never stopped. Malik’s eldest daughter suffered a serious head injury when she was 15 months old that left the left side of her body paralyzed.

Malik and her daughter endured many challenges as their existence as a disabled mother-daughter duo came into question.

She recalled facing stereotypical comments and a lack of understanding from the general ecosystem around her.

Laureate Arjuna faced disability again in 1999, when doctors told her to choose death or have her tumor operated on and be paralyzed.

“I just wanted to live. I wanted to see what my girls were doing. I just wanted to be alive,” Malik said.

During this period, there was little talk of diversity and inclusion. “Mujhe dekh ke log bolte the ambulance ki sawari ko taxi me kyun bitha rahe ho,” she said, recalling the rude comments that came her way.

At the age of 30, Malik decided to prove to the world that she was not an emotional, physical or financial handicap. She met all the challenges head-on.

“Sometimes a way of communicating is also through your actions. They said she could never cook, so I opened a restaurant and started feeding 400 people every day. They said I won’t be able to earn well and today I am an eighth grade officer with the government,” she explained.

Malik then learned to drive, swim and climb mountains. She became the first person to receive a license for an invalid (modified) rally vehicle. She was also the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games.

“I think I’m the chosen one,” she said.

Speaking about his brand of leadership, Malik said, “Lead by example because your team will never be who you want them to be. They will be who you are. I couldn’t afford to be a negative, sad person.

Malik discussed India’s victories at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. She said: “The success of everything depends on good communication. The main essence of victory at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo was the amazing communication between the whole ecosystem. Communication has added science to sport. It bridged the gap. »

The Paralympic medalist continues to face challenges with positivity. She wants people to see “ability beyond disability”.

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