“Pune has always supported me, in good days and bad. I had to face many adverse conditions which have inspired me throughout this journey,” said Deepa Malik, who won the silver medal for India at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in shot put. Deepa was here to address a lecture on “Ability Beyond Disability”, organised by MAEER’s MIT Group of Institutes, Pune, and Rotary Club of Pune University. Dean of MAEER’s MIT, Pune, Prof Sharadchandra Darade-Patil, presided over the function.
Principal of MAEER’s MIT, Pune, Prof L K Kshirsagar, MIT College of Engineering principal Prof M S Nagmode, president-elects of Rotary Club of Pune University Pallavi Deshpande and Mahesh Bhagwat, along with club president Dev Shahane, youth director Sujata Kulkarni, and Prachi Dharamsi attended the function.
“I was hospitalised for three years during my childhood in Southern Command Hospital, Pune. Everybody around me used to tell me success stories which gave me courage to face the situation. It created a positive outlook towards any situation and it became a habit throughout my life. My father was in armed forces who always tried his best to elevate me. Almost all of my organs are affected. But I fought the situation always,” said Deepa.
Recalling how she took to swimming, Deepa said, “One fine day, I was told that swimming can help me to improve my health. This was a turning point in my life. I started thinking how I can make progress in this direction. I heard the word Paralympic and it gave a dream before me. I could earn medals at national and international tournaments as everybody knows. The major thing is that determination is a driving force behind all these activities. I had taken part in a beauty contest also where I got a crown.”
Deepa urged the students to understand that “you are the architect of your future. Nobody can stop you from achieving success in the world. Every disaster or adversity is an opportunity for success. I hope the youths follow this message.” Prof Sharadchandra Darade-Patil said, “Deepa Malik is really an idol, not just for the Indian youth, but everybody for people across the world.”
Prof L K Kshirsagar gave the welcome speech, Sujata Kulkarni introduced the guest, Sunil Joshi compared the function, while Pallavi Deshpande proposed a vote of thanks.