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Deepa Malik, the first woman para-athlete from India to have won a medal (silver) in Paralympics 2016, focuses on her comeback in 2021 for the World Championship. She had earned a silver in shot-put. Unfortunately, shot put and javelin in the 53kg weight category have been brought down from the 2020 Paralympics. Speaking to The Bridge from her residence in Gurgaon on Tuesday, Deepa revealed, “Only discus throwing is there in my category at the Olympics. But I cannot throw discus as it causes jerk and finally neck pain. So following the doctor's advice, I am not throwing discus for some time, although I had won a bronze in Asian Games last year in the same event." Deepa Malik at 2018 Para Asian Games (Photo: Facebook) The 49-year old athlete cannot sit idle. In a bid to keep herself fit, Malik, after having acquired skill in different adventure activities, is trying her hands on sea adventure sports.
Deepa and her daughter Devika have created a foundation named Wheeling Happiness. She explains, “We have extended hands towards those differently-abled people who need physical, mental, financial and emotional support. We have provided 50 wheelchairs recently in Haryana for the differently-abled persons. At the same time, we have been initiating with schools, colleges and hospitals so that people like them do not have to face difficulties in progressing. Even if we come to know about any person who has been undergoing severe treatment, following an accident or a severe disease, we provide with financial assistance for the person.” Deepa Malik at an event (Photo: Facebook) Deepa added, their foundation also has been organising workshops across different states to make the people in the administrations aware that infrastructure for the country’s para-athletes should be developed. Looking forward to the World Championship in 2021 and then towards Asian Games in 2022, Deepa has also started practising javelin and shot put thrice a week in New Delhi as well as at her home in Gurgaon.
She clarified, “I have learnt scuba diving in the Maldives early this year. I had to spend a few months to learn scuba diving and it has helped me keep my fitness regime active.”
She concluded, “There is a ground, a well-equipped gym and swimming pool adjacent to my residence in Gurgaon. So I have started training already. I have set an aim of winning medals in those international championships."