Deepa Malik, mother of two, overcame a spinal tumour, 31 surgeries and 183 stitches to win India a Silver medal at the ongoing Rio Paralympics. From getting operated upon when her husband was serving the nation in Kargil and getting 163 stitches between her shoulder blades, she was always a real life inspiration.
She has won sporting laurels at the international stage for close to a decade, the only medal missing from her repertoire was the Paralympic one. At Rio, she has fulfilled her dream. Deepa has never been daunted by adversity. When told as a 26-year-old that her choice was between paralysis and death.
She is a budding sportswoman and cricketer for Rajasthan, despite suffering paralytic shocks since the age of eight. Deepa faced the impossibility of life head-on. Seven broken vertebrae and frequent MRI scans in the absence of titanium plates, could not stop her from taking to throwing the javelin in 2006. Then it became the shot put, the event that has given her Paralympic glory in Rio.
Taking an inspiration from Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu and now Thangavelu, Deepa and Bhati, Indian sports can take a giant leap in the next four years and redeem itself in Japan. Thangavelu and Deepa have proved beyond doubt that it is possible. Only we need to want the desparation to have it.