From ‘Fit India’ to ‘Khelo India’ and the TOPS scheme, PM Shri Modi has been championing the cause of Indian sports. But more than that, Shri Modi loves to celebrate the success of the sportspersons and makes sure that they feel honoured after they bring glory to India. At the same time, he also goes on to set new benchmarks for the next sporting event.
Ms. Deepa Malik, winner of first female paralympic medal for India, recalls her meeting with PM Shri Narendra Modi upon her return from the event.
A greet-and-meet event was hosted by the prime minister Shri Narendra Modi for the Rio Olympics medal winners from India. For the first time in 10 years of Ms. Deepa Malik’s career, she was invited at the residence of the prime minister for winning a medal for the country.
During the greet-and-meet event, PM Shri Modi called the Paralympian by her name and said, ‘Ms. Deepa, you have a positive vibe and you always speak in a positive manner. Many times, I watch your videos and feel positive.’
Another meeting with PM Shri Modi took place at the reception held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. While PM Shri Modi was shaking hands with the Olympians, a few of the people tried to shake hands with PM Shri Modi coming over from the back of Ms. Deepa Malik’s wheelchair. To her surprise, PM Shri Modi himself came forward and protected Ms. Deepa from the push of the crowd, appealed to all of them to stay back as this could have hurt Ms. Deepa Malik. There are two things to acknowledge here. One, PM Shri Modi cared about her safety and second, he remembered that Ms. Deepa Malik had undergone spinal cord surgery few weeks back. Such a gesture by the prime minister himself made Deepa Malik feel so special and inspired to do better for the country next time.
Another incident when PM Shri Modi’s conviction in sportspersons was established took place in Ahmedabad.
Ms. Deepa Malik received a call from PM’s office. At a very short notice she was invited to reach Ahmedabad on the invitation of PM Shri Modi. When she reached Ahmedabad, Ms. Deepa Malik got to know that she was invited into the inauguration of a Transtadia where cricketers, Olympians and sportspersons from other sports streams were also present. When PM Shri Modi met Ms. Deepa there, he said this line-up would have been incomplete without a woman and specially-abled sportsperson.
Also, Shri PM Modi himself drove Ms. Deepa Malik’s wheelchair to the stage for the inauguration. This proved to be a touching moment for the Paralympian and she still has her Twitter profile pic of the same event. During his speech at the event, PM Shri Modi also said that Ms. Deepa Malik’s biography can inspire a sportsperson to do better for the country.
Ms. Deepa Malik terms this moment as adding an extra sense of responsibility. She also says that these words from Shri PM Modi inspires her to be more responsible and do better for India.