New Delhi: In her pinned tweet Dr Malvika Iyer, the second woman to handle Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media account, says, “Say hello to Dr Malvika Iyer Heart suit. PS: 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.”
On International Women’s Day 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed over his social media account to seven women achievers. Dr Malvika Iyer is the second woman achiever in the row who handled PM’s social media account on Twitter.
Iyer survived a gruesome bomb blast in Bikaner, Rajasthan, at the age of 13 in 2002 that made her amputee.
Handling PM’s official Twitter, Iyer wrote: “I survived a gruesome bomb blast at the age of 13 that blew off my hands and severely damaged my legs. Yet, I worked and went on to get my PhD. Giving up is never an option. Forget your limitations and take on the world with confidence and hope -#SheInspiresUs.”
Iyer also said that it is only education that can bring about change. “I believe that education is indispensable for change. We need to sensitize young minds about discriminatory attitudes. We need to show people with disabilities as role models instead of showing them as weak and dependent,” adding that “acceptance is the greatest reward we can give to ourselves. We can’t control our lives but we surely can control our attitude towards life. At the end of the day, it is how we survive our challenges that matters most.”
Dr Malvika Iyer is an Award-winning Disability rights activist with a Doctorate in Social Work. She is the recipient of the “Nari Shakti Puraskar”, the highest civilian honour for women from the President of India. Iyer is an International Motivational Speaker, a TEDX Speaker, a Model for Accessible Fashion and a Global Shaper at the Global 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 honour from the President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a standing ovation for her motivational speech at the United Nations, and the ‘Women In The World’ Emerging Leaders Award in New York.
She co-chaired the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit 2017. She is featured in UN Women editorial series ‘From where I stand’, ‘YES, WE CAN!’ of 100 Inspiring Stories of Differently Abled Entrepreneurs by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. She lost both her hands and severely damaged both her legs with nerve paralysis and hypoesthesia. She studied Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, followed by a Master’s in Social Work at the Delhi School of Social Work. She did her MPhil and PhD in Social Work at the Madras School of Social Work.