Deepa Malik, India's first female para-athlete to win a medal at the Paralympics, on Saturday said she discovered her abilities beyond the disabilities and overcame the stereotypes which surrounded her physical condition.
Speaking at the event, Malik said, "There was a time when I was emotionally distressed and confused as to how and what I will be able to give my daughters. Initially, there was a lot of social stigma and taboos and stereotypes which surrounded my physical condition."
She added, "I am happy that my motherhood and womanhood became my strength to recover and reclaim my life as an abled person with a lot of passion. My determination paid off and I was able to bring home the first-ever female Paralympics medal for my country in 2016."
The Arjuna Award recipient thanked the government for giving her the opportunities and appealed all women to come forward and take part in the new policies and schemes that have been created to enable and empower the dreams of women.
Bachendri Pal - first Indian woman to reach the Mount Everest, PV Sindhu - first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal, KarnamMalleswari - first Indian weightlifter to win an Olympic, Heena Sidhu - first woman to win Gold in World Cup Shooting, were also among the women felicitated by the President.
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