New Delhi: Olympic bronze medallist boxer M C Mary Kom and international para-athlete Deepa Malik were among India's 25 most inspirational women to be felicitated on Thursday by Limca Book of Records, which completed its silver jubilee by dedicating the 25th edition to the cause of empowering women.
Limca book of records paid tribute to all those women achievers who have played an integral role in making a positive difference to the society.
"So proud to be here along with so many great women. Thanks to the Limca book of records for this honour. It is a great honour," Mary Kom said at the felicitation function. "Earlier they used to say: women behind men, but now it's the other way round," Mary Kom added.
Deepa Malik, a paraplegic woman, who has won several medals in swimming, shot-put, javelin and discus throws, said: "I am humbled to be in the esteem company of these women. It is my family and my coaches who always believed in me. Am very thankful to all of them."
To her credit, Deepa, who is paralysed below her chest, has already set four Limca records: she swam 1 km across Yamuna river in 2008; rode a customised bike non-stop for 55.25 km in 2009; drove a customised car up to Khardung La (5,359 m) in 2011 and covered 3,278 km from Chennai to Delhi in a customised car in 2013.
"I do not feel like a guest here today as I have got into the Limca book of records four times earlier and it is pleasure to be here again," Deepa, who underwent three major spinal surgeries and 183 stitches between her shoulder blades in 1999, said. In 2012, the Indian Government honoured her with the Arjuna Award for her achievements in track and field.
Apart from sportspersons Mary Kom and Deepa, women from various spheres of lives such as Merry Barua (Founder-Director of action for Autism), Arpana Caur (Renowned artist), Padmavathy Bandopadhyay (first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force), Rini Simon Khanna (a noted Indian television news anchor), Geeta Seshamani (animal welfare activist), Laila Tyabj (designer, writer and chairperson of DASTKAR - a society for crafts and craftspeople), Dr Sunitha Krishnan (human rights activist, founder of Prajwala - a pioneering anti-trafficking organisation), Delhi's braveheart, Nirbhaya's mother Asha Devi, actor Waheeda Rehman were also felicitated and recognised for their efforts.