New Delhi: Cherishing the reception she got after her historic silver medal at the Rio Paralympics, Deepa Malik on Saturday said that Haryana’s positive response is a “really big deal” for a disabled woman.
The 45-year-old made history by bagging the silver medal in women’s F53 shot put event in the Rio Paralympics, throwing a personal best distance of 4.61 metres.
Malik, who returned home to a rousing reception, is overwhelmed with the love she received from her native place in the north Indian state of Haryana with the entire Khap coming out to receive her. A Khap is a community organisation that represents a clan or a group of related clans.
“They say women are not encouraged to take up sports in Haryana. I don’t know about that. When I came back from Rio, 200 people from my village, the entire Khap came to receive me. They gifted me a gada [mace] for making the village proud,” Malik said at NDTV’s Youth For Change Conclave on Saturday evening.
“The honour is usually reserved for men. For them to give it to me, a disabled woman, is a really big deal,” she added.
A mother of two and wife of an Army officer, Malik, who was conferred the Arjuna Award, is a paraplegic — paralysed from the waist down.