Meet Dr. Malvika Iyer – A bomb blast survivor who went onto become a Doctorate
Dr. Malvika Iyer - A bomb blast survivor who went onto become a Doctorate
Say hello to Dr.Malvika Iyer.
Dr.Malvika Iyer is a bilateral amputee, a bomb blast survivor. She is an award winning disability rights activist who has recently completed her PhD thesis titled “Attitude of Undergraduate students towards differently – abled Individuals” on social work from Madras School of Social work. “To everyone who’s been curious as to how I type, do you see that bone protruding from my right hand? That’s my one and only extraordinary finger. I even typed my Ph.D. thesis with it :)” she tweeted yesterday.
She is an International motivational speaker, a TEDx speaker, a member of the united nations IANYD’S working group on youth and gender equality, a model for accessible fashion and a global shaper at the Golbal shapers community (An Initiative of the world Economic forum). She is an advocate for inclusion and gender. Her work has been recognized widely, including an honor from the president of India – Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. A standing ovatino for her motivational speech at the united nations and the “Women in the world” emerging leader award in New York and even found a place among the 100 change agents and newsmakers of the decade.
Early in her academics although, she missed her class 9 & 10 due the unfortunate bomb blast. She registered for the board exams in private and jumped into her books wholeheartedly, taking help from a local coaching centre. Malvika scored 483 out of 500 and was a state rank holder. She got 100 in maths and science and stood first in Hindi with a 97 and shocked everyone. She was invited to meet President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. It was a life affirming moment for the teenager dealing with the loss of her life as she knew it.
Bomb blast has left her legs as gnarled and tangled mess of bone. “It used to bother me how ugly they are,” she says and recounts the time she went to a doctor to check out options of cosmetic surgery. The doctor told her that with her injuries, she would never be able to walk again, forget undergoing surgery. She quietly informed him, “Doctor, I walked to your clinic.”
She says she lives by Scott Hamilton’s words, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” “I have come to realize that I could be the President of India and people would still pity me. It’s in their nature. Now I concentrate on my own abilities and not people’s reactions towards me. That’s all it took to change my life.”
Before signing off she offers a piece of hard earned advice: “I sometimes feel grateful for the blast. I think of the average life I would have been leading and look around and see the amazing opportunities that I get to experience now. My disability is a shield against a life of mediocrity.”
“Opportunities are there for every one of us. Don’t give in. Fight and you will survive.”