FROM DISABILITY TO 'THIS' ABILITY
Femina|November 2021
Just like the mythical phoenix, DR MALVIKA IYER, who literally rose from the ashes following a bomb blast, is a symbol of rebirth and strength, and an inspiration to many. She talks to Kalwyna Rathod about her journey, challenges, and making a difference
Kalwyna Rathod

Award-winning disability rights activist, international motivational speaker, accessible fashion model, body positivity advocate – Dr Malvika Iyer has several feathers in her cap. “When you accept yourself, you’re invincible,” she says with conviction. Behind that confidence lies years of struggle with finding herself and practising self-love. Dr Iyer was only 13 years old when a gruesome incident left her a bilateral amputee; she lost both her hands, suffered multiple fractures in both legs, and was bedridden for over a year. What she never lost, what no one and nothing could ever take away from her, was her grit and positivity.

Explaining how the grenade explosion in her house in Bikaner in 2002 changed her life, Dr Iyer says, “While it affected me physically and emotionally, it also took a toll on my family. My parents, my sister and I had a normal, simple life; the accident turned everything upside down. Despite it all, there was never any talk within the family about how I was now a person with a disability or a burden on my parents. I had lost 80 per cent blood, my blood pressure was low, and the doctors had said I wouldn’t survive. All my mom wanted was for me to live; she said she didn’t care if I had lost my hands, she would take care of me no matter what.”

Unsurprisingly, Dr Iyer has not found the same attitude from people outside her family. “Travelling to and between hospitals, I used to get stared at, pitied, and be at the receiving end of insensitive remarks such as ‘Bechari ladki’, ‘She’s never going to be able to study’, or ‘Who will marry her?’. Even when I went back to school and later joined college, I was subjected to curious stares, which brought on feelings of self-doubt and insecurity. At times, dealing with these stares, comments and emotions was more painful. Growing up as a disabled woman was sort of a double challenge, because of my disability and gender.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FEMINAView All

Hot To Maintain Your Diet Goals This New Year Without Punishing Yourself

Kayal Arivalan gathers expert advice to help you maintain your diet goals this new year without punishing yourself

1 min read
Femina
January 2022

The Beauty Brands To Look Out For In 2022

Launched in the recent past, these beauty brands are all set to make it big globally this year. By Ria Bhatia

2 mins read
Femina
January 2022

Master STROKES!

The portrayal of a character in any Hindi feature film is enhanced by the look, and, therefore, the role of makeup and hair in Bollywood has always been indispensable. Sukriti Shahi looks at the beauty aficionados of Indian cinema who have been painting movie characters with their brushes for decades

4 mins read
Femina
January 2022

THE NEXT BIG THING

WE’RE BETTING ON THE PEOPLE YOU’LL SEE IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES BIG TIME! UPSTARTS WITH SMARTS. RAW TALENT. YOU CAN’T IGNORE THEM. THEY ADAPTED, CREATED OPPORTUNITIES, AND SUCCEEDED. WHETHER IT WAS CONTENT CREATION, INVENTIONS, SPORT – THESE INCREDIBLY COOL PEOPLE TRULY ARE THE NEXT BIG THING. TEAM FEMINA BRINGS YOU GEN Z SPARKS WHO WE THINK WILL SHINE IN 2022

10+ mins read
Femina
January 2022

HEAVENLY PLEASURES

Squish Town bath and body products

1 min read
Femina
January 2022

GLOW, BABY, GLOW!

Vit C Glow Serum by SkinQ

1 min read
Femina
January 2022

AT-HOME SPA

The body care range by The Ayurveda Co

1 min read
Femina
January 2022

BUST THE MONEY MYTHS

From gender stereotyping to being told that they don’t have a head for money, here are money myths that are holding women back.

2 mins read
Femina
January 2022

EASY WAYS TO BOND WITH YOUR IN-LAWS

If you’re a new bride, these easy tips will help you bond well with your new family.

2 mins read
Femina
January 2022

GET OUT!

As the work-from-home trend continues for many, people are now considering investing in outdoor spaces to suit their lifestyle.

1 min read
Femina
January 2022
RELATED STORIES

Self- acceptance

ELIZABETH DENLEY has been a student of both science and spirituality all her life. Trained as a scientist, she turned her field of inquiry and research skills to the field of meditation and spirituality after starting the Heartfulness practices in the late 80s. Here she shares some thoughts on the importance of selfacceptance.

6 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
November 2021

POISE UNDER PRESSURE

Youth icon, sportswoman, and multi-award recipient, P.V. SINDHU has many national and international titles under her belt, the latest being the 2019 World Badminton Championships. A never-say-never attitude, a magnetic smile and twinkling eyes, she is an epitome of humbleness and graceful poise. Here she speaks with SATYA SAHAY at the inauguration of the P.V. Sindhu Badminton Academy at the Lalaji Memorial Omega International School in Chennai.

10 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
April 2020

India exit: Ford Motor in talks with union to decide compensation for workers

Faced by mounting losses, Ford had decided to cease local vehicle manufacturing in India, as part of its India restructuring

1 min read
Financial Express Mumbai
January 19, 2022

State Health Minister cites death data, urges public to get vaccinated

HEALTH Minister Ma Subramanian on Sunday inaugurated an exclusive 300-bed facility for frontline workers including police, and government workers.

1 min read
The New Indian Express Chennai
January 17, 2022

TN enforces ‘Sunday' lockdown

Though Sunday was ‘Kaanum Pongal’, traditionally celebrated by people by visiting places of their choice alongwith family and friends, they were confined to their homes this year

2 mins read
Millennium Post Delhi
January 17, 2022

Just 8K streets have 50K active cases

Corpn staff say poor observance of quarantine norms results in spread of virus in localities

2 mins read
The New Indian Express Chennai
January 17, 2022

‘A sudden jerk and all came tumbling down': Survivors recall horror

SILIGURI: It was months since Rukia Khatun visited her mother in Barpeta, Assam. The daily wage labourer, who works in Jaipur, set off with her seven-year-old daughter Sahida in tow on the Guwahati-Bikaner Express on Wednesday.

1 min read
Hindustan Times
January 15, 2022

Union Health Minister all praise for State govt after inspecting Covid facilities

UNION health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday praised Tamil Nadu’s “great work towards defeating Covid-19”.

1 min read
The New Indian Express Chennai
January 13, 2022

Sea-to-sea variant of BrahMos supersonic missile test-fired

AN EXTENDED range sea-to-sea variant of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired by India from the Indian Navy's newly commissioned INS Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, the Defence Research and Development Organisation said.

1 min read
The Indian Express Delhi
January 12, 2022

Stalin kicks off booster dose drive in State

4L frontline workers, seniors eligible for jab; CM also extends insurance scheme by 5 yrs

1 min read
The New Indian Express Chennai
January 11, 2022