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Dr. Deepa Malik

President Indian Paralympic Committee

First Indian Woman Paralympic Medalist; President - Paralympic Committee of India

Braving Chest-below paralysis and spinal tumour treatment for over 23 years; Deepa is on a mission – Ability Beyond Disability.  Born in Bengaluru on 30th September 1970, Deepa Malik hails from an Army Family, with her father, brother, husband and father-in-law all having served in the Indian Army. She is an international sportsperson par excellence, forever transforming the sports landscape of India by becoming the country’s First Woman Paralympic Medalist; recipient of Six Prestigious President of India Awards & honours – Padma Shri (Ministry of Home Affairs); Khel Ratna (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports) Arjuna Award (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports); President’s National Role Model Award (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment); Women Transforming India Award (NITI Aayog, United Nations India & MyGov) and 'First Ladies Award' (Ministry of Women & Child Development) as well as 5 state governments’ honours.  

In 2020, Dr. Deepa Malik was appointed as a member of the government’s All India Council of Sports and is also serving as the President of the Paralympic Committee of India. In 2022, Dr. Deepa Malik has been conferred the Asian Order – the highest honour in the Asian Continent by the Paralympic Fraternity – for her exemplary contribution as President of PCI, leading the Indian Contingent to win the highest number of medals in history. In recognition of her efforts, Dr. (h.c.) Deepa Malik has been selected as the Sir Edmund Hillary Prime Minister’s Fellow for New Zealand for 2019 by PM Jacinda Ardern, to strengthen bilateral friendly relations between the people of India and New Zealand. She is also a member of the Disability Advisory Board of the Uttar Pradesh State Government and PM Narendra Modi’s National Committee to celebrate 75 Years of India's Independence.  

She is a motivational speaker who has been conferred the International Human Rights Council’s ‘Exceptional Speaker Award’, among many other prestigious awards and recognitions to her name. She holds Four Limca World Records in the Adventure Category; she is the first woman to represent the country at international level sports in her category of disability (F-53). She is also the first ever Indian paraplegic woman swimmer, biker and car rallyist.  

With a count of 23 international medals and 68 national & state level medals in swimming, javelin, shotput & discus events, she is the first Indian to receive the International Women’s Day Recognition from the International Paralympic Committee, for her contribution to advancing disability sports for women in India. She has been ranked as one of the top 10 Asian Women Leaders in 2017 by the Great Asia Women Achievers Awards 2017.

Deepa Malik has created history by becoming the first ever Indian female Para athlete to win an Asian Games medal in athletics as well as the first ever female World Championship medal. She is also India's first ever female Paralympic Medallist across any sport. She has created history by becoming the only Indian woman athlete ever to win medals at 3 successive Asian Games and retain the Asian Record in Javelin throw throughout the years. She also holds a world record in open river swimming for swimming across the Yamuna River for 1km against the current. She has been listed as one of the 10 most inspirational women para-athletes of the world by the International Paralympic Committee.  

Deepa is also a record holder in driving customised cars & motorbikes; she became the first ever physically challenged person (man or woman) in the world to get a rally licence to compete in the ‘Raid-de-Himalaya’ car rally on the world's highest motorable roads. Deepa Malik has created yet another record by doing a pan-India drive to promote para-sports in the country and spread the message of Ability Beyond Disability.
Dr.(h.c.) Deepa Malik has been awarded Honoris Causa Doctorate by 3 prestigious universities in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the fields of sports, adventure sports and community service in India.
Deepa contributed immensely towards better sports policies for the physically challenged in her role as a member of the Working Group for the Formulation of 12th Five Year Plan (2012 – 2017). Deepa works closely with the government to implement progressive & inclusive policies. She is the ‘Clean India’ (Swachh Bharat) brand ambassador for New Delhi Municipal Corporation and expert consultant for Disability Inclusive Accessible Infrastructure for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs ‘Smart Cities’ project. 

Deepa Malik promotes universal inclusion across all spheres of life, including fashion, having participated in numerous Indian Fashion Weeks on her wheelchair and doing adaptive clothing feature spreads in multiple national & international fashion magazines like FEMINA, GRAZIA, HARPER’S BAZAAR to name a few.  

As the co-founder of Wheeling Happiness Foundation, she has taken up the cause of enhancing the emotional health of persons with challenges and empowering women through outdoor sports, motor sports and adventure activities and also assisting the training and sports equipment requirements of para sports persons. The foundation also enables persons from lower socio – economic strata as well as running disability sports awareness & advocacy sessions at various schools and colleges. The foundation has provided more than 500 mobility aiding devices. She also provides disability sensitization training to airline staff. Deepa Malik has assisted many physically challenged persons to learn driving & sports and hence live a more self – reliant life.

Dr. Deepa Malik's


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