New Delhi: Google.org grantee, Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, conferred the 3rd M.G. Mehta Human Spirit Award to Rio Paralympics silver medalist, Deepa Malik.
Hon. MP Poonam Mahajan, also the National president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha gave the award away in front of a packed crowd at the YB Chavan auditorium in Mumbai.
Speaking at the function, Poonam Mahajan shared, “For India to jump from the 6th largest economy in the world, to the 3rd largest, we need two important things, education and nutrition. Ratna Nidhi Trust is doing admirable work in both. Its work in the disability sector is a sign that God is watching over all of us and all our needs.”
Poonam was welcomed by Trustees Asha Mehta and Rajiv Mehta of the Ratna Nidhi Trust.
“We are grateful that Poonam Mahajan, a young dynamic leader of the new face of India, is giving away this award. We believe that more social good can be done, if NGOs work in partnerships with the Government,” said Asha Mehta, Trustee Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust.
Deepa Malik enthralled the audience with one hour motivational speech, interspersed with videos. She said, “ I grew up in times when there was no cable TV. And having a disability meant more attention and love from my family. The fact that every story ended with ‘and they lived happily ever after’, meant that whatever happened to me, things would eventually be alight.”
“Deepa’s untiring will, multiple records, national and international medals and never-say-die spirit make her the ideal role model for persons with disabilities,” Trustee of Ratna Nidhi Trust, Rajiv Mehta added.
The crowd gave a standing ovation to Deepa after her talk. She particularly moved the audience, when she shared that her husband was at war in Kargil, when she was going in for a surgery, after which she would never be able to walk again. Speaking to her, he said, “If you can never walk again, I will carry you for the rest of my life.”
Past recipients of the MG Mehta Human Spirit Award are Padma Shri awardee Ms. Arunima Sinha and paralympic cyclist Mr Aditya Mehta. The Chief Guests in the past have been Shri. Ratan Tata and Shri.Anna Hazare respectively.
Deepa Malik, who has been honoured with the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award in 2012 travelled to Mumbai to attend the ceremony.
Deepa and her daughter Devika are the only mother-daughter pair in the world, who play paralympic sports together.