Top Indian para-athlete Deepa Malik has been felicitated by a Khap Panchayat for her achievements at the Rio Paralympics where she had won a silver medal.
Deepa was honoured by Malik Gathwala Khap at Swami Nitya School in Rohtak.
Deepa, who won a silver in the shot put F53 event in Rio in September, is the first Indian woman para-athlete to win a medal at the Paralympics.
Calling her the pride of the community globally, the Khap elders asked her to wear her silver medal as a moment of pride.
Speaking at the felicitation ceremony, Deepa said, “Who says the Haryana rural heads are not progressive. I have been time and again encouraged and felicitated by the village khap and given a mace (gadda), a male dominated trophy. They call me apni beti (daughter) and not bahu (daughter-in-law), they call me gaaon ka sher (Lion of the village)…. I see so much acceptance.”
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Deepa has her own NGO ‘Wheeling Happiness’ which works towards promoting sports for differently-abled individuals.