Malathi Krishnamurthy Holla is an International para athlete from India. She was awarded Arjuna award and Padma Shri for her achievements.
She was born on 6 July 1958 in Bangalore. Her father ran a small hotel, while her mother took care of their four children. Malathi was paralysed by a fever when she was one year old. Electric shock treatment for more than two years improved her upper body strength but there was little change be
Having won over 300 medals Malathi was conferred the prestigious Arjuna and Padma Shri awards. She represented India in the Paralympics held in South Korea, Barcelona, Athens and Beijing; the Asian Games held in Beijing, Bangkok, South Korea and Kuala Lumpur; World Masters held in Denmark and Australia, Commonwealth Games in Australia and Open Championships in Belgium, Kuala Lumpur and England.
Malathi has so far undergone 32 surgeries.
Malathi works as a Manager in Syndicate Bank and shelters 16 children with various disabilities at Mathru Foundation — a charitable trust formed along with her friends. She focuses mainly on polio victims from rural areas, whose parents cannot afford to send their child to school or provide medical treatment.
Malathi Holla launched her first authorized biography, A Different Spirit on 8 July 2009.
“When I was small, I wanted to be first among my friends who used to run to the backyard to pick the fallen mangoes. I wanted to fly like a bird fearlessly from one place to another. But as I grew up I realised that you need legs to run and wings to fly. I was hurt, but I didn’t give up. I knew, one day, I would run…” says Malathi in the book.
“Thus I took up sports and decided to do something different in life. Yes, we are different and so even our lives should be a shining example of that difference,” she adds.