Ritesh Hindocha: The Indomitable Influencer
“Ritesh Hindocha was a special child, soon after his birth, mom dad knew that. He’d often fall ill. So, mom and dad would devote their entire time to him. They enrolled him in a special school too. But, growing up wasn’t easy for Ritesh.
To us, he was our loving brother. However, the world outside our house failed to acknowledge his love and care. They’d often bombard us with questions like ‘Is he mad?’, ‘Why is he like this?’ His abnormality was all they could see. Ritesh was often bullied – once the kids in our society were teasing him to ask a girl out. Luckily, I was right there. So, I lashed them out.
Thereon, I decided to never leave him alone. I took him everywhere I went; still there were times when I couldn’t be there for him. But, Ritesh never let that hinder his spirits. He enjoyed participating in many drama workshops at school and even went ahead to bag a role in the movie Naina! He loved to dance and sing and to date, he never leaves a chance to break a leg.
Our system doesn’t allow a license for people with Down Syndrome but that couldn’t hold him back. Ritesh did learn to drive! He even manages a mobile store. ‘I want to reduce the financial burdens on Papa,’ he says. Upon realizing that he has down syndrome some people at the shop try to take advantage of him. Once a man tried to steal the gold chain from his neck. Luckily Papa saw it on the CCTV and caught him.
No matter how hard the previous day was, Ritesh would show up at the shop the next day. As I said nothing could ever stop him. But, due to COVID lockdown, we had to shut down. A few months later, Ritesh started showing signs of depression. So he lapsed back into dancing to uplift his mood. That’s when the idea to start his Instagram page struck us!
In no time, his reels started to reach over 3 million people! The world was finally able to see him above and beyond his disorder. The loving, caring, and never-giving-up Ritesh that I grew up with, was finally out there! ‘It’s my dream to take our entire family to Dubai on a trip’ he says. And I know for a fact that the trip is not far away. Indeed Ritesh has down syndrome, but he never let us down and I’m sure he won’t this time too.”