Accomplished para-athlete and India’s sole woman Paralympic medallist Deepa Malik has been selected as president of Paralympic Committee of India. However results of the elections are subjected to a pending claim in the Delhi High Court.
Deepa Malik, who won a silver in shot-put in the Rio Paralympic Games, was chosen unopposed as president in the PCI polls. The elections took place in Bengaluru.
Deepa Malik’s tweet
Right after her elections, Malik tweeted, “My heartiest congratulations on the commencement of new innings of a fresh tenure in @ParalympicIndia.” She expressed her gratitude on being trusted with the Presidentship. She is happy that they are welcoming an athlete-centric approach in para-sports in India.
She added that this is a “huge transition for her” which she hopes to receive continued support. And that she looks forward to disposing of her work with full honesty and integrity.
Malik is also a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee as well as Padma Shri recipient. She has also won a silver in the IPC World Championships in 2011 in the shot put F 52-53 event. Besides getting a silver each in discus and javelin throw events in the Asian Games in Indonesia in 2018.
In an earlier interview, Deepa Malik said to SheThePeople, “Be the change you want to be.” She also gave a bit of advice to those who lack confidence and shared an anecdote from the time when she had got bed-ridden, “As long as I was sad and under-confident within myself when I was bed-ridden, I used to write a lot of sullen poetry. Although the poetry was good, but it was sad. Then I realised that I need to change this and I started writing about dreaming and success. That is when the real transformation happened. You don’t have to wait for the change to happen. You have to become the change.”
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Pending judgement in Delhi High Court
The PCI was derecognised by the Sports Ministry last September, citing infringement of the National Sports Code in the para-body’s judgment to fire Rao Inderjit Singh. The Ministry had announced that it found PCI’s reply on the discharge of Singh unacceptable.
The PCI had developed its by-laws to prevent civil servants from it during its Annual General Meeting. This was issued on May 4, 2019. Singh was a Minister of State (Planning) in the Government during that time.
Gursharan, while speaking on the election of Malik, stated that it is the “first time when a top athlete has been made chief of a sports body under which he or she has been playing.”
Gursharan is expecting that PCI will retrieve the recognition of the sports ministry. This will happen if the Delhi High Court rules these elections legitimate.
“Sports Ministry is a party in the case pending before the Delhi High Court. So, if the High Court says the elections are solid, I think that should be binding for the sports ministry also,” Gursharan said.
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Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV