You don’t need anything when you have faith in yourself. God helps those who help themselves. She is a fighter, motivational speaker and an inspirational icon to many. On May 26, 2002, a 13-year-old Malvika decided to fix her torn pair of jeans by sticking the edge with glue. In the search of a blunt object to put pressure on the glued edges of her denim, she went into the garage of her home.
Co-Chair at World Economic Forum India Economic Summit: Sharing my vision for a new India https://t.co/omxQpYm9F2 #wefindia pic.twitter.com/rGf9xD0lgJ
— Dr. Malvika Iyer (@MalvikaIyer) October 22, 2017
This Is What Happened:
When she found the object she thought would do the trick, Malvika rushed with it to her room. Little did she know that it was a grenade. Her family was not aware that the grenade had exploded months ago while the bomb pieces had scattered over the area.
The moment Malvika poked the grenade over the fabric and it exploded. She lost her hands in this explosion and had serious injuries on her legs with multiple fractures, a nerve paralysis along with hypoesthesia. “While I was confined to bed for months, my biggest aim in life was to walk.
When I lost both my hands to the bomb blast, I'd convinced myself that in this life I'd never be able to cook on my own.
Be unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/p865zIbXD3
— Dr. Malvika Iyer (@MalvikaIyer) July 28, 2017
When I started walking with my difficulty, my next aim was to climb up the staircase, and then to use the remote with my elbow. People around me have always been competitive, always in the race to clinch the first place in all aspects of life. Now I don’t have any of aims since I have experienced failure at every point in life and have learned to rise over it,” said Dr Malvika Iyer.
Today Dr. Malvika Iyer Is:
Today, Dr Malvika Iyer, apart from a bomb blast survivor, is also a social worker, a PhD scholar, an international motivational speaker, a disability rights activist and a Global Shaper under the World Economic Forum. This is her story. She grew up with older sister Kadambari in Bikaner, where her father worked as an engineer at the Water Works Department and was transferred.
Despite losing her hands in a bomb blast, Malvika Iyer decided to push herself & prove that girls are #FitToFight.
Today, she is a disability rights activist & is motivating others to do the same. Her inspiring story is just a testament to the statement of #GirlsD̶o̶n̶t̶Fight. pic.twitter.com/ICqpVrDd7Z
— Reebok India (@reebokindia) November 27, 2017
“I had a beautiful childhood,” says Malvika going down memory lane. “My father was generally transferred because of the nature of his work. While we stayed in Bikaner. He would visit us on the weekends. I liked traveling with my mother around the whole city, eating outside, watching the films and shopping Rajasthani dresses,” she said.
Her Inspiring Story:
She used to spend time kicking the ball, flying kites, doing role play of teacher-teacher and walking down the ramp wearing her mother’s sarees. She also learnt Kathak for more than seven years! The bomb blast had changed her life. While it took away Malvika’s hands, it could not take her faith. She skipped a year of her schooling and appeared as a private student in the Secondary School of Leaving Certificate examination in Chennai, by the help of a professional. Also, she became an overnight sensation when she secured a state rank among the private candidates with a whopping 483/500. Then, she was invited to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet the then President of India, the late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who lauded the fighter.
Her M.Phil in Social Work done at Madras School of Social Work with a first class degree even won her a ‘Rolling Cup’ for the Best M.Phil. thesis in the year 2012 that described stigmatization of the people having disabilities. One of the main reason for her choice of the subject was taken from her own experience as a young differently-abled lady who fought at every step. “There were two different reactions from people. Everyone was shocked and sad. All were very helpful. Everyone was glad that I survived as the doctors had given up on me,” she says. While some people visited her in the hospital and talked in whispers. “They used to stare at my bandaged hands and my legs and say, What a bad thing to have happened. She is a girl. Now who will marry her?”
“I think it was the first time I cried. It was not due to the harsh physical pain. They stared at me as if my life was finished because I had lost my limbs. And this is still not over. I still get stared at and pitied. Now I am very independent. I eat myself, I work. Except tying my hair in a ponytail, I can do everything by myself. I have accepted my life the way it is. Whatever you do in 30 seconds, takes me around 10 minutes. But I am content with how my life is because this is literally my second chance at it.”
Malvika’s first step to become a motivational speaker was during the moment when her story got a lot of identification, after which she was called to speak at TEDxYouth in Chennai in the year 2013. And ever since then, there was no looking back.
Are you inspired by her story? She has been inspiring so many people and motivated them to achieve success in life with what they have and not look for reasons!
Get more inspired in our next article, Phoolmati Lamoria, A Model Who Can’t Hear Or Speak But An Inspiration For Many!