Paralympic silver medallist Deepa Malik became the first Indian woman para-athelete as well as the oldest to be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Deepa won a silver medal in shotput in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. She was the joint winner of the top honour along with Bajrang Punia.
Deepa is the second para-athelete after double Paralympic gold medallist javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia to obtain the honour. She received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at a function held in New Delhi. She was elated and said that it will be an inspiration to women athletes with disabilities. However It took 70 years for an Indian woman to won a medal in the Paralympics.