Blast Survivor Dr Malvika Iyer Rebuilt Her Life To Fight Stigma Against Disability

Naina SharmaNaina Sharma  |  Feb 19, 2020
Blast Survivor Dr Malvika Iyer Rebuilt Her Life To Fight Stigma Against Disability

“I truly believe that every cloud has a silver lining and my life has been one such example,” says Dr Malvika Iyer, a motivational speaker, activist and now an inspiration to many, she lost both her in a grenade explosion when she was just 13. 

Celebrating her 30th birthday on February 18, Dr Malvika took to Instagram to share something that was more than just a regular post. In her post, she recalled the fateful day from the year 2002, which she remembers like it was yesterday. 

Malvika narrated the tragic incident and her highly motivating story about how she pushed herself to face the challenge of her life at such a young age. She wrote, “When the bomb blew up my hands, the doctors were under a lot of pressure to save my life so they made some surgical errors while stitching back my right hand.”

In her post, she also explained how a surgical error left her bone protruding out, “The stump has a bone protruding out which is not covered by any flesh. If I hit my hand against something, I’ll die of pain. But that very mistake has proven so incredible that the bone acts like my only finger.” The gritty survivor hasn’t taken anything lying down.

The Freak Accident

It was a Sunday afternoon and all she wanted to do was to fix a pair of torn jeans that she planned to wear. Malvika had the brilliant idea of sticking it together with a fevicol and she just needed a heavy blunt object which she could use to apply pressure on the glued edges. She stumbled upon an object, which she didn’t know was a hand grenade that had landed in the garage of her home post an ammunition depot blast nearby. It exploded and not only did she lose her hands, but she also sustained severe injuries including multiple fractures, nerve paralysis as well as hypoesthesia.  



Her Inspiring Journey

While she was recovering from her injuries in 2002, it was a change in the attitude of others who believed her life was over, she decided to fight against the stigma associated with disability. Malvika transformed her life upside-down for the better. A few years later, she appeared for matriculation examinations in Chennai and secured a state rank. As a result of her achievement, she was invited by then President APJ Abdul Kalam. Later, she went on to pursue Economics (Honours) at the St Stephen’s College and then a post-graduate degree from the Delhi School of Social Work. 

And now look at the silver lining! She is today a national awardee, a disability activist and an international motivational speaker. Not just that! She is also a World Economic Forum global shaper. Malvika also received the Nari Shakti Puraskar, the highest civilian honor for women for their outstanding contribution to women empowerment from the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in 2018. Hats off to you!

“Ever since I’ve healed and started getting back on my feet, every achievement big or small is precious to me,” says Malvika. And this blast survivor who rebuilt a worthy life rightly tells us, “Opportunities are there for every one of us. Don’t give in. Fight and you will survive.”

Featured Image: Instagram