Deepak received a star welcome at the airport in 2015 when he returned with a silver medal in Handball from the World Summer Games held in LA , USA.He is 21 yrs and has been with the SO program for 10 years now. His victory which brought him immense excitement went on to do much more for his family. The Cash award that followed covered expenses of his father’s critical ailment which was diagnosed soon after
Belonging to a family with limited means and located in the rural interiors of the state of Haryana, his mother faced much trouble and strain when confronted with a diagnosis that confirmed Deepak as child with Special needs. His delayed milestones, lack of speech by the time he was 2 could be attributed to complications during his birth. Members of his family and community suggested to have him killed or have him exorcised. The accusation from the pople around was that he was possesed by a spirit.
His mother received the accusations with a heavy heart and went on trying to bring out the best in her son. She went to doctors and others who could understand her son and in the process approached Mrs Renu Bali at Tenderhearts and unburdened herself. This turned out to be a haven for her child. She found people understanding him and felt that she could seek their support in optimizing his abilities. Deepak was introduced to the Young Athlete Program through indegenous equipment. Not very receptive to people initially, there were diverse methods adopted by the school to make him comfortable. He was asked to throw a piece of stone repeatedly in lieu of a ball. He enjoyed it. He had never been asked to even play earlier. He was accustomed to being secluded.
He spent a few years as part of the Young Athlete Program when he gradually progressed to Bocce. He played Bocce at he SOAP Regional Games 2013 held in Newcastle, Australia. This was his first international event through local sponsorship that supported him after seeing his performance at the Championship held for the same.
Moving on, he played Handball and was selected for the World Summer Games 2015 in LA USA , returning with a Silver Medal.
Through his various sporting experiences Deepak has won 27 medals which are displayed prominently in his house. Deepak received a star welcome when he returned from the LA Games. There were 25-30 residents of the village who went to receive him at the airport. Deepak’s particpation and victory at the games has made him very confident and has also initiated a change in the mindset of his neighbours. He actively contributes to the daily chores at home. He is especially fond of his domestic cow and takes care of her calf.
Deepak achieved another milestone when he got a job in 2016. He works as assistant with Yes Bank at Sector 16 Faridabad. He got married in May 2017 to a person without Intellectual disabilties and they are very happy together. In fact Deepak is the only earning member in the family. His brother who is a graduate remains unemployed. Mrs Renu Bali, who has seen him grow through various phases and challenges says, “ He is my idol who has strengthened my faith in sports. Special Olympics is close to my heart and seeing Deepak I am really serious about it with my other students “