Indian para athletes Sandeep Chaudhary and Devika Malik have been included in Forbes’ 30 Under-30 Asia for 2020.
While Sandeep Chaudhary has been named in the Entertainment and Sports category, Devika Malik has been shortlisted under the Social Entrepreneurs section.
The 23-year-old Sandeep is a javelin thrower who holds the world record in the F44 category. The Indian ace had set the world mark with a throw of 66.18 metres at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai last year.
Sandeep Chaudhary is in India and was preparing for the Tokyo Paralympics when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organisers to postpone the Games to 2021.
Though the Indian international was initially disappointed with the news, he seems to have taken it in his stride and has his eyes fixed on the Games.
“As a para athlete, being recognised for my achievements also motivates me to do even better in my next target which has been Tokyo 2020,” he told the NPC India.
“Though we have to wait a little longer now the focus is still the same to win the gold in the Paralympics next year,” he added.
Meanwhile, Devika, who was listed under the Social Entrepreneurs category is a 100m and 200m runner in the T37 category and has won a handful of medals at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix meets.
She is the co-founder of Wheeling Happiness Foundation, an organisation that works to promote disability sports, raises funds for women and people with disabilities and strives for better access and equality for those facing physical, emotional and social challenges.
Devika, the daughter of the Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik, is also a psychological counsellor and an international disability inclusion advocate.
Speaking to the Times of India on her latest honour, Devika said: “I am really very happy to make into the list of Forbes’ 30 Under-30 Asia list. Wheeling Happiness is teamwork of many people and I am honoured to do my bit for my country in this hour of crisis.”
Her foundation is actively involved in helping the daily wage earners and those engaged in essential services during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.