Deepa Malik’s story will be now onscreen. Her biopic is going to be produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani. Deepa Malik is India’s first and only woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games.
Ritesh Sidhwani’s script developing had team chanced upon the story of Deepa Malik and later shared her story with the ace filmmaker which left him stupefied and he set a meeting with her.
Initially, it was a 30-minute interaction which later turned into five-hour discussion.
Ritesh Sidhwani who is producing Deepa’s biopic with partner Farhan Akhtar under their banner Excel Entertainment shared,”I had watched videos of her and knew that her life story was unreal, but when I met her and she let me hold her medal, the sheer weight of the silver gave me gooseflesh. At one point in her life, she had to choose between death and life in a wheelchair and she chose the latter. But as she sat in front of me, there was nothing differently-abled about her. She was empowering, a pillar of strength, and I knew that we needed to take her fight to the big screen”
The film is expected to go on floor early next year. The process of documenting Deepa’s journey, putting everyone on record has already begun.
The casting has not begun but as the ace producer says, it will be a career-defining role for any actress as it’s not only about an athlete, but also the person she is today.
He further added,”It will also feature her children and husband and most definitely her hometown Haryana, her present home in Delhi and her win in Rio De Janeiro, among other places.”
Deepa Malik who is 46 now and a mother of two girls had suffered from a tremendous backache during her second pregnancy 20 years ago. The doctors then blamed it on the weight gain, but even though she had a normal delivery, the pain increased and got so bad that she couldn’t bend to lift her baby.
Soon afterward, a tumour was detected in her spinal column which had to be operated upon immediately. The choice was between spinal paralysis and death.
Cavalier Colonel Bikram Singh, Deepa’s husband was away in Kargil when she shot 163 stitches between her shoulder blades. And while she was warned that there would be some loss of movement post-surgery, her spinal cord was so damaged that she was rendered paralyzed from the chest down.
Unfazed the brave Deepa Malik overcame a spinal tumour, 31 surgeries and 183 stitches at 26 and went on to become a state-level cricketer for Rajasthan despite paralytic shocks that had persisted since age eight.
A marveled, Ritesh Sidhwani further shared,”In 2006, she took to javelin throw and then had to change her sport one year before the Paralympics. For an event for which people train their entire lives, she had only 12 months to learn shot put. She returned home with a silver medal in Rio” who has bagged 54 gold medals at the national level and 13 at the international level in swimming, javelin throw and shot put.
Deepa Malik has also won accolades for her participation in various adventure sports, the first Indian to receive a license for ‘invalid and modified’ rally vehicle after pursuing the authorities in Maharashtra for 19 months.
Deepa today is associated with the Himalayan Motorsports Association and Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, undertaking an eight-day, Raid De Himalaya trip, including a 1700-km drive in sub-zero temperatures and an 18000-feet ascent.
She was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2012.