Paralympic star Deepa Malik has been announced as the recipient of the New Zealand Prime Minister's Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship for 2019.
The country's High Commission confirmed the news about the 48-year-old, who is a winner of 23 international medals and became India's first Paralympic medallist when she sealed silver in the shot put F53 at Rio 2016.
As reported by The Economic Times, Malik will travel to New Zealand to meet Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, make visits to Paralympic sporting organisations, speak to athletes and students and engage with the country's significant Indian community.
"I feel absolutely humbled and blessed to be able to represent the essence of New India, for the bilateral relationship between the two countries," said Malik.
Humbled to recv #SirEdmundHillaryPMFellow2019 representg d essence of #NewIndia vision of hon @narendramodi great attention towards d empowerment of women , people with disabilities and the celebration of diverse cultures in both countries. @jacindaardern @SushmaSwaraj pic.twitter.com/nVzg7vpjin— Chowkidar Deepa Malik (@DeepaAthlete) April 9, 2019
"Jacinda Ardern's leadership is such an inspiration to the world and resonates with the vision of my honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji.
"This prestigious fellowship bestowed upon me is a clear declaration of great attention towards the empowerment of women, people with disabilities and the celebration of diverse cultures in both the countries."
The fellowship programme has been running since 2008.
Its aim is to "strengthen the relationship between India and New Zealand by showcasing the different aspects of the warm friendship between the two countries", according to The Economic Times.