Meet – Dr Malvika Iyer, on 26 May 2002, at age 13, she accidentally picked up a diffused grenade bomb at her home in Bikaner, Rajasthan that exploded in her hands, blew off both her hands and severely damaged her legs.
There was little hope for her survival when she was taken to the hospital. She was conscious but in terrible pain. Subsequent to surviving that night, she had to undergo surgeries across 2 years and was bedridden for 18 months.
Against all odds, at age 28, she obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Social Work from the University of Madras. She also holds a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Social Work from the University of Madras, a Master of Social Work (M.S.W) in Social Work from Delhi University and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Economics from St. Stephen’s College.
Dr Malvika Iyer’s story is one of courage and determination. She has come a long way from surviving a gruesome bomb blast at the age of 13 that blew off both her hands and severely damaged her legs, to winning the highest civilian honor from the President of India.
Today, she is an award-winning Disability Rights Activist and International Motivational Speaker – inspiring millions of people to forget their limitations and take on the world with confidence and hope.
“When the bomb blew up my hands, the doctors were under a lot of pressure to save my life so they made some surgical errors while stitching back my right hand, the stump has a bone protruding out which is not covered by any flesh. But that very mistake has proven so incredible that the bone acts like my only finger. That’s how I type,” said Dr Malvika Iyer.
Dr. Malvika Iyer – Quotes”
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
“I have come to realize that I could be the President of India and people would still pity me. It’s in their nature. Now I concentrate on my own abilities and not people’s reactions towards me. That’s all it took to change my life”
“The next time you see someone differently-abled, think about it – We are all people and we have to remember that at all times, those people didn’t choose to be born or have that disability, that is just how things go from time to time. Do not stand and stare, rather be empathetic, respectful and inclusive.”
Dr. Nothabo Ncube “Dr.Thabo” story encourages others to face and conquer their challenges. She is a Medical Doctor, Inspirational TEDx Speaker, Coach and a Mentor originally from Zimbabwe, now living in Canada.
Her powerful story of loss, struggle and determination encourages this generation to face their challenges and conquer them.
Having lost her mother at the tender age of fourteen, at her mother’s death bed, she made a promise to her to be a doctor in Zimbabwe. Destiny led her to Canada where she and her family found themselves living in Community Housing in Toronto, subjected to social ills that could have deterred her from her path.
Dr. Thabo was selected to attend The Intimate and Interactive OPRAH WINFREY Life class on “You Become What You Believe”, Through a whirlwind of inspirational lectures, round-table discussions and media appearances on platforms like Global News TV, Radio, CBC News Network, and selected Top 4 Immigrant Women of Inspiration/Influencers in Canada by The Canadian Immigrant Magazine.
She positively influences, challenges, and reconnects the millennials with their purpose. She uses incredible wit and candor to empower young girls and women.
Dr. Thabo is on a mission to inspire hope, to be a voice of empowerment, and the bridge to many who are marginalized, powerless and voiceless. It is her intention that through her vulnerable truth they feel seen, heard, and valued.
In this interview with Esther Ijewere, Dr. Nothabo Ncube shares her Inspiring story, and how her encounter with Oprah changed her life.
My childhood fully prepared me and set a healthy foundation for all that I am today and all that am yet becoming. Both my parents were teachers, and they both instilled the value of an education from a tender age. `It was my mother’s prophesy over my life that I would one day become a medical doctor – motivational and inspirational speaking is my higher purpose and calling. It is my intention to help the girl child and women to see themselves in a bigger light.
Why Dr. Nothabo Ncube Became a Motivational Speaker
In 2011 I needed money to attend medical school. I so happened to be chatting with a friend who was based in Chicago at the time, she then suggested that I go on the Oprah Winfrey Website to see if there were any bursaries or scholarships available. I followed her lead and went on oprah.com – there was nothing related to scholarships or bursaries, the first thing that popped up was, “Tell us your story – YOU BECOME WHAT YOU BELIEVE”.
I quickly typed in my story, submitted it, and earned myself a once in a lifetime opportunity of being a part of Oprah’s Life-class. That was the day that changed my trajectory and shifted my purpose awareness. I knew in that moment; I too was called to inspire for positive change and to give people hope.
Here I am now 11 years later, a full pledged INTERNATIONAL SPEAKER travelling the world and sharing my personal story of turning struggles into strength and pain into purpose.
The Journey So Far
The journey has come with twists and turns – difficulties. If it were not for my zeal, I would have long given up. I always say you do not choose the path; it chooses you and it sustains you. I am still going strong with it, evolving with life’s motions. Thankful to live in the space of my calling and purpose. I would not trade the peace and joy that comes with living in the space of my calling and purpose.
Some of the challenges I have faced include being resisted and being doubted. No-one ever believes until you have delivered positive results.
How My Work Inspired Other Women Around Me
My work has inspired other women to commit to their healing journey and inspired them to become deliberate creators of their best lives possible.
Other Projects And Activities
I have a young women’s mentorship program which caters to the African girl-child in the continent. We provide them with the right tools and resources to help them pursue their dreams and realize their visions.
What I Enjoy Most About My Job
I enjoy meeting and connecting with people from different works of life. I believe that through the power of storytelling we can heal individually and collectively.
3 Women Who Inspire Me And Why
My mother – she was a strong fearless woman who through example taught me that all things are possible when you believe in yourself.
Oprah Winfrey – she is the epitome of the manifestations of God’s consciousness and grace.
Michelle Obama – her nurturing warm leadership is awe-inspiring.
To People Who Judge Ambitious Women
I would say, ambitious women are changing the world and creating a better world for all humans, support them.
To Women Who are trying to find their voice
To support women who are trying to find their voice in society, let’s create programs and structures that help them figure out who they are and create safe spaces which give women the permission to be vulnerable and to show up as they are.
Being A Woman of Rubies
I lead a courageous and fearless life. I am a woman who is true to her purpose and living it out loud unapologetically.
To A Young Person On The Verge Of Giving Up
I would say to a young person who is on the verge of giving up, that they should hold on and that it will get better with time. Each season serves a unique purpose in their journey – that the season they are walking in is preparing, moulding, and refining them for their BIG dream and purpose.
Where I see Myself In 10 Years
I see myself as a voice of change, hope and inspiration all over the world. I hope to one day have my own radio and TV show.