Malvika Iyer

Malvika Iyer

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Category: Social Work

Malvika Iyer Profile

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  • Malvika Iyer

Malvika Iyer Biography

Malvika Iyer is a social worker, international motivational speaker and writer too. A bilateral amputee and a bomb blast survivor, she lost both her hands in a grenade explosion at her home in Bikaner in 2002, when she was only 13. Yet she was not willing to call it quit. Instead she fought back, and today her success story is an inspiration to all. Now she is a disability rights activist, who obtained her Doctorate in Social Work in 2017, working on the thesis, the stigmatization of people with disabilities. In 2018 she received Nari Shakti Puraskar, the Highest Civilian Honor for Women for outstanding contribution to women’s empowerment. She also works as a model for costumes.


Malvika Iyer was born in Kumbakonam as the daughter of B. Krishnan and Hema Krishnan. Her childhood days were spent in Bikaner where her father worked. She was a tomboy who loved outdoor sports and learnt swimming and skating. Life was going smooth till unexpected incident changed the drift and direction of teen Malvika’s life journey. In 2002, she lost both her hands in a grenade explosion at her home in Bikaner. She was only 13 then. Four main nerves were instantly cut and there was 80 per cent blood loss. She also suffered serious injuries on legs and other parts of the body, her left leg was just hanging from a small bit of skin and nobody expected she would walk again. She suffered multiple fractures, nerve paralysis and hypoesthesia, and was bedridden for two years.


Her left leg was disfigured and with no sensation. Yet she was lucky to save her legs. She was hospitalized for 18 months in Chennai, and slowly she began to walk with the aid of crutches and was fitted with prosthetic hands. She appeared as a private candidate in Higher Secondary Exams while she was hospitalized, and when results came out, she secured a state rank among the private candidates. This win gained public attention and she was invited to the Rashtrapati Bhavan by the then President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. She continued her studies in Delhi.


Currently she is a social worker and activist who delivers motivational speeches across the globe. She has talked at United Nations in New York City, and many other educational institutions across the world. She also conducts workshops in schools, colleges, private establishments etc. Her inspirational journey and social activities earned her a lot of recognitions including Nari Shakti Puraskar and the first Women in the World Emerging Leaders Award in New York in 2016.

Published: September 16, 2018

Updated: September 16, 2018

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