Dr. Malvika Iyer is an Award-winning Disability Rights Activist with a Doctorate in Social Work. She is the recipient of the “Nari Shakti Puraskar”, the Highest Civilian Honor for Women from the President of India. Iyer is an International Motivational Speaker, a TEDx Speaker, a Model for Accessible Fashion and a Global Shaper at the Global Shapers Community (an initiative of the World Economic Forum). She is an Advocate for Inclusion and Gender. Her work has been recognized widely, including an honor from the President of India- Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a standing ovation for her motivational speech at the United Nations, and the ‘Women In The World’ Emerging Leaders Award in New York. She Co-Chaired the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit 2017. She has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and books, even finding a place among the 100 Change Agents and Newsmakers of the Decade.
She has spoken at various platforms around the world including Youth Forum CSW61 at UN (New York), Global Leader Series for Non- Profits (Singapore), Youth Assembly (New York University), CIVICUS World Assembly (South Africa), AGENDA (Jakarta), Sustainable Valley Festival (Norway), TEDxYouth@Chennai, TEDx IIM Kozhikode, IEEE WIE Leadership Summit. She is featured in UN Women editorial series ‘From where I stand’, ‘YES, WE CAN!’ 100 Inspiring Stories of Differently Abled Entrepreneurs by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI, Women of Pure Wonder – Vodafone Foundation’s book featuring 50 inspirational women who’ve emerged as game changers, GIFTED, and a graphic novel "MAI" depicting her life's story.
Her career goal is to work towards building an inclusive society, particularly to address the attitudes and perceptions with regards to disability and gender.
Iyer was 13 years old when she survived a bomb blast in Bikaner, Rajasthan. She lost both her hands and severely damaged both her legs with nerve paralysis and hypoesthesia. She studied Economics at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi followed by a Master’s in Social Work at the Delhi School of Social Work. She did her M.Phil and Ph.D. in Social Work at the Madras School of Social Work.