On account of International Women’s day, team Urban Tree has meticulously chosen some great women achievers of our country. As we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women on March 8, this is a series of blogs that feature those strong women of India who have made their way up to become successful by breaking stereotypes!
Born in Kumbakonam, Malvika Iyer grew up in Rajasthan as her father got transferred for work. She was only 13 years old in 2002 when she lost both her arms to a freak grenade explosion. She moved to Chennai after the incident to stay close to her family and got bio-electric hands fitted. Now, 27 years old, Malvika is now pursuing her Ph. D. on social inclusion of the differently abled at the Madras School of Social Work and speaks in many public forums, inspiring the youth to achieve things in life.
Moving on After the Accident.
Malvika lost both her hands to the explosion and almost lost one of her foot. The pain she says was terrible and she has also faced terrifying moments where she feared it was the end for her.
In the hands of a competent medical team, support from family and friends Malvika made a remarkable recovery and took her first steps in November 2003. Malvika gave class ten board exams by studying only for 3 months. Her hard work paid off and Malvika got a State rank among the private candidates, and was one amongst the State toppers, as well. She also scored a perfect 100 in Math and Science and 97 in Hindi, also a State first. She was invited to meet the then President of India – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalamji. Encouraged and heartened by this, she completed her 12th and was even the toppers of the private board exams. She studied at St. Stephens and graduated in economics with honors before pursuing her Ph. D.
She drives her inspiration from Scott Hamilton’s words, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
Malvika was called invited for a TED talk that completely changed her life. She says that when she started talking about herself, she realized she is in a much better space than many listening to her. That is when she realized she came across as an inspiration to people. True to her words, Malvika’s TEDx talk video on YouTube has been an inspiration to people all over the world and has had thousands of views from all over the world.
She also gets invited to many colleges in Chennai and Bangalore to speak about her story and has delivered several speeches regarding the same. Malvika was invited to host the India Inclusion Summit in Bangalore where she was the emcee and interacted with a lot of differently abled individuals which made her accept her disability.
Malvika loves dressing up and is the model for accessible clothing made by NIFT. She plans to give back to the society by helping differently abled individuals once she completes her Ph. D.
Malvika Iyer is a true inspiration for the youth today as she has bravely moved on and ahead, leaving her limitations. What comes out from her interviews are her sheer determination and grit to embrace life as it comes and not letting her loss of arms defeat her. Malvika is a true fighter and she has our respect!