Malvika Iyer lost both hands at the tender age of 13 when she was a victim of a grenade explosion at her home in Bikaner. She sustained severe injuries to her legs too, including multiple fractures, nerve paralysis and hypoesthesia. But she was able to walk again only after she went through multiple surgeries.
However, Malvika overcame all challenges to become a successful person in life. Today, Malvika is a bilateral amputee, a bomb blast survivor, a social worker and winner of the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018.
Malvika Iyer is also a model and love walking the ramp. Malvika is a model for accessible fashion and by walking the ramp she aims to promote fashion for people with disability. Malvika says "I had multiple fractures in my legs. In fact, the doctors were going to amputate my leg as well. Both my legs are completely disfigured. For me, walking was once a dream. And to be able to ramp walk and be a showstopper - well it's a precious thing!"
Malvika Iyer secured a state rank when she appeared for her SSC exams which brought her into the limelight. This prompted her to be the guest of the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who was, back then, the President of India.
After her SSC exams success, Malvika Iyer went on to pursue Economics (honours) from St Stephens College, Delhi. She followed it up with a Masters in Social Work from the Delhi School of Social Work. Malvika loves reading, travelling, writing poetry, and gardening. She believes that 'The only disability in life is a bad attitude'!
Malvika Iyer met Dr APJ Abdul Kalam soon after she finished her SSC exams and secured a state rank. When asked about her memories of meeting the former President of India; Malvika adds, "It was an unforgettable experience. The excitement of being invited to Rashtrapati Bhavan and meeting him - everything was like a dream come true! It was divine meeting him. He asked me about my future plans and congratulated me for my achievements. He also showed his work on his computer. Everything was thrilling!"
Malvika's Instagram profile reads as Dr, Malvika Iyer. And the reason behind adding Dr before her name is because Malvika was always destined to do well in studies and post her masters in Delhi, Malvika pursued M.Phil in Social Work from Madras School of Social Work. What's more? Malvika secured the first rank and won the ‘Rolling Cup’ for the Best M.Phil. Thesis in 2012.
Malvika captions this one: A dreamy girl in a poetic romance.
In the file photo, Malvika Iyer poses for a picture as she looks extremely stunning and elegant in the hues of orange!
Malvika Iyer reveals, "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 PhD thesis with it :)
In the file photo, Malvika Iyer is seen posing in front of doorstep as she is all smiling for the camera.
Malvika Iyer loves spending her time with her cat 'Miah Iyer'. Yes, you heard that right. Miah is a 2-year-old wide-eyed cat who loves sniffing, bird watching, sleeping, playing peekaboo and fetch. What's more? Miah also has an Instagram page and she looks adorable too!
Malvika Iyer has also been a subject of a graphic novel called MAI! The project was close to Malvika's heart because Mai is her nickname.
Malvika Iyer is also a pet lover and says that she loves taking care of her cat. Malvika captions this one: I celebrated my perfections but embraced my imperfections. It's like I caught a rainbow. Now I just see colours everywhere!
Malvika Iyer never played the victim card despite being a blast survivor. Malvika has been a prolific speaker and has been a voice for women empowerment at a global stage. New York, Norway, Indonesia, South Africa are few of the countries where Malvika shared her experiences and spoke as a motivational speaker.
Malvika also spoke at the United Nations and she has vivid memories about the same. She exclaims, "I received a standing ovation for my speech at the UN! It was a surreal experience. To share my story, to represent women especially women with disabilities and talk about our strengths and challenges. UN is one of the most esteemed platforms and it was an honour to speak and inspire everyone and taking them along my journey of surviving the traumatic incident and rising above."
Malvika Iyer was a trained Kathak dancer before she met with the fateful bomb blast accident. Malvika loves walking the ramp and solely believes in doing it for a social cause. Malvika captions this one: My first Showstopper experience. :) I was wearing doctor recommended floaters as I cannot wear heels, but still!
Malvika was also recognised as one of the 100 Change Agents and Newsmakers of the Decade by Deccan Chronicle in 2015. From losing her hands at the tender age of 13 to overcoming obstacles and becoming a social activist and renowned motivation speaker; the journey has of Malvika has been not less than of a roller coaster ride!
Besides walking the ramp for a social cause or giving motivational speeches as a motivational speaker, Malvika Iyer is also a doting daughter and a family person. While sharing this picture on Instagram, Malvika captioned: My dear nephew. Whenever your parents tell you "No you can't", I'll always be here to tell you "Yes you can"!
For Malvika Iyer her source of inspiration and pillar of strength is her mother who has stood by her through thick and thin. When asked about the kind of bond she shares with her, Malvika was quick to add, "She is my pillar of strength. Without her positive influence and determination, I’d not have made it this big in life. She's been by my side through success and failures. She’s my best friend!"
On March 8, 2018, Malvika Iyer was awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar which is the Highest Civilian Honor for Women for their outstanding contribution to women's empowerment from the Honorable President of India Ram Nath Kovind on the occasion of International Women's Day. What's more? Malvika has also been the recipient of multiple awards such as the Outstanding Model Student Award by Wisdom International Magazine, REX Karmaveer Chakra Global Fellowship in 2014 and the first Women in the World Emerging Leaders Award in New York in 2016.
In the file photo, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India is seen presenting the Nari Shakti Puraskar award to Malvika!
Recalling the memory of receiving the Nari Shakti Puraskar award from President Ram Nath Kovind, Malvika Iyer with a bright smile adds, " It's the highest civilian honour for women in India. Well, it was indeed the amazing moment of my life. To have my work recognized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the President of India. Being inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan, walking the red carpet, meeting the President and interacting with him. It’s the most prestigious award I’ve received till date and the most special one!"
In the file photo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen interacting with the recipients of Nari Shakti award. While sharing this picture on Instagram Malvika wrote: A beautiful moment captured when the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi called me 'Phenomenal Woman'!
Malvika Iyer is just like any other millennial but her life story is incredible. Malvika Iyer is a bomb blast survivor who lost both her hands at the tender age of 13 in a grenade explosion. However, the setback did not dither her from taking up challenges, she became an activist and won the Nari Shakti Puraskar award. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called her 'Phenomenal Woman'! We look at the inspirational diva's life in pictures. (All pictures/ Malvika's Instagram)
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