Dr. Malvika Iyer

“I learnt to embrace every inch, every scar and every emotion.”

Contact email: malvika_iyer@yahoo.co.in

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 Honor for Women from the President of India. Iyer is an International Motivational Speaker, a TEDx Speaker, a member of the United Nations Inter Agency Network on Youth Development’s Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality, 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 honor 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 Leader Award in New York. She Co-Chaired the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit 2017. She has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and books, even finding a place among the 100 Change Agents and Newsmakers of the Decade.
Iyer was 13 years old when she survived a bomb blast in Bikaner, Rajasthan. 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 M.Phil and Ph.D. in Social Work at the Madras School of Social Work.

Career goal: To work towards building an inclusive society, particularly to address the attitudes and perceptions with regards to disability and gender.

  • Awarded the “Nari Shakti Puraskar”, the Highest Civilian Honor for Women from the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of International Day of Women. (8th March 2018)
  • Invited to deliver a Motivational Speech at the United Nations Headquarters, New York
  • Invited to Co-Chair the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit 2017, Taj Palace, New Delhi
  • Honored with the first Women in the World Emerging Leaders Award at the 7th Annual Women in the World Summit, New York
  • One among the 100 Change Agents and Newsmakers of the decade (Deccan Chronicle 28-03-2015)
  • Global Shaper (An initiative of the World Economic Forum)
  • Honored by the President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • Featured in ‘YES, WE CAN!’ 100 Inspiring Stories of Differently Abled Entrepreneurs by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India
  • One among the 20 women achievers selected to attend the Women in the World Summit, in association with the New York Times at New Delhi #WITW
  • Featured in Women of Pure Wonder – Vision. Valour. Victory. – Vodafone Foundation’s coffee table book featuring 50 inspirational women from across the country who’ve emerged as game changers in their chosen field
  • Featured in GIFTED (A National Bestseller): Inspiring Stories of People with Disabilities http://www.giftedthebook.com/
  • Speaker at CIVICUS World Assembly (South Africa), AGENDA (Jakarta), Sustainable Valley Festival (Norway), AYUDH Americas (Chicago), TEDxYouth@Chennai 2013, TEDx IIM Kozhikode 2015, IEEE WIE Leadership Summit 2015, MMA Women Managers’ Convention 2013, IYONS 2015, Radiant Wellness Conclave 2015
  • State topper in class 10th in 2004
  • Recipient of ‘REX Karmaveer Chakra and Global Fellowship 2014-2015’
  • Recipient of ‘Outstanding Model Student’ from Wisdom International Magazine
  • Recipient of ‘Rolling Cup’ for the ‘Best M.Phil. Thesis’ in 2012
  • Invited to attend India Economic Summit 2014, Taj Palace, New Delhi
  • Master of Ceremonies (MC) at India Inclusion Summit, 2013 at Ritz Carlton, Bangalore, 1st National Wheelchair Basketball Championship India, GFK Run 2014
  • Show stopper for accessible clothing in India (An initiative of Ability Foundation- NIFT)
  • Acted in a short film ‘The Phoenix’ on the theme ‘Celebrate Inclusion; Celebrate Life’ directed by her mother (Ms. Hema Krishnan) shortlisted for ABILITYFEST 2013 (An India- International Disability Film Festival)
  • Awarded certificates, cash prizes and medals for meritorious performance by Sri Sivakumar Educational & Charitable Trust, the DMK President- M. Karunanidhi, the Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Rajya Sabha MP- Mrs. Renuka Chowdhury, the Chief Minister of Kerala- Mr. Oommen Chandy, Astrologer- SAP Varadhan, the Chairman and Director of Art Heritage Gallery- Mr. E. Alkazi, Rotary Club, Punjab Association
  • Worked with differently abled children at the Centre for Child and Adolescent Well Being, Delhi
  • Undertook research projects in PEHEL, Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCRAF)
  • Blogs at http://malvikaiyer.blogspot.in

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