Ritesh Hindocha is a fashionista, model, influencer, and a daily dose of motivation for others. He is dedicated and passionate in the work field and has managed to make people on the internet fall in love with his charm and talents.
Ritesh started his career as a content creator when the pandemic hit the world. During the lockdown, he was feeling rather put off and depressed about his entire life being turned upside down. He could not focus on his hobbies, like swimming, or lead his usually healthy lifestyle, so he turned to social media. When he was locked inside the house, he would dance in front of the television. His family would encourage him and hype him up.
“One day my Nana, his father, sent me a video of him dancing to a song, and that gave me the idea that this could be shared with the whole country. They will enjoy watching his videos, and it will spread positivity,” Dhruv, Ritesh’s confidant, shared with us.
Ritesh did not know that Dhruv had opened an Instagram account for him initially, but when he found out that his videos were doing well on the internet, he was ecstatic.
“He now knows more techniques and features on Instagram than us,” Dhruv adds.
Ritesh has his own business besides being a model and influencer. He owns a mobile retail shop. He also has numerous hobbies, out of which swimming is his favorite. Ritesh was into swimming every day before the lockdown. Dhruv says that even if most people with down syndrome are wary of deep waters, Ritesh on the other hand loved playing in it. He would swim in 20 feet deep waters without using afloat, which is super impressive. Ritesh is a sports enthusiast, as he plays badminton and cricket as well.
Ritesh loves to connect with people online and spreading positivity among the masses. He loves it when his efforts are properly recognized and people praise him. Dhruv shared a heartwarming incident with us where Ritesh went to take the vaccine and the doctor appointed to him recognized him immediately and praised him for his good work. This made them feel really proud and emotional.
However, before becoming a loveable influencer, Ritesh’s life was not always full of rainbows.
“Before Instagram, people used to tease him and not used to talk to him. But now people want to talk to him. That makes him very, very happy,” Dhruv says.
Ritesh, as a child, led a pretty difficult life with children of his age isolating him for his condition. His mother used to convince the others for him so they let him play with them. However, he still did not fit in with the others as they never let him play the part he wanted to do. They would never give him any important positions in their games, and Ritesh felt left out because of that.
“Now the same people are messaging us, saying that they want a picture with us and want to have a shoot with us,” Dhruv adds. “Even now we get hate comments. However, 90% of our responses and comments are positive. There are still 10% of people who do not understand what down syndrome is and how it affects someone’s life.”
Ritesh tries his best to connect with his audience, and that is why he always makes sure to read every comment and DM that he receives. However one day, Ritesh once received a comment which mocked his physical appearance, and the model was confused as to why he was receiving responses like that. There were also several more comments of the same sort, and it made Ritesh sad to see such ignorant comments. After that, his family and loved ones advised him to not read comments and messages anymore, since he could encounter more comments as such and it could worsen his mental health. They all try their best to shield Ritesh from any negative words, which is admirable.
Ritesh’s family is super supportive of him pursuing the field of content creation. Dhruv is the one who is the most active of them all. He gives Ritesh full autonomy over the kind of content he wants to produce, all the while pitching in his own unique ideas. He also helps shoot and edit all the videos on Ritesh’s page. Both of them work together to bring the audience fresh waves of content, which are entertaining and enjoyable to watch.
According to Dhruv, Ritesh’s biggest strength would be his willpower. Ritesh’s parents always taught him to ignore bad people and negative words. That’s why Ritesh has made himself very strong from the inside.
“His biggest strength would be that he ignores things that are not important to him, and moves on easily.”
It is very easy to get caught up with strangers’ words on the internet, and Ritesh and his family try their best to not let the discrimination get to them. Dhruv continues to say that the most irritable thing for them is how people send them messages undermining Ritesh’s special condition or straight away thinking that they are faking the whole thing for views, sympathy, and clout.
Ritesh is a big believer in God, and he believes that he has a direct connection with him. Before every shoot, he makes sure to remember God and pray for success in his endeavors. Ritesh feels special and grateful for every bit of validation he receives. He is not greedy for views and likes and feels rather satisfied with any amount of attention he gets.
“We are not doing this for views. We are doing this to spread awareness. He does not care much about which video is doing well and which is not. He is doing this for fun and to spread awareness while doing so. His priority is to help other people like him.”
Ritesh wants to convey the message through his videos that people with down syndrome can do anything and everything as they please. They are not weak or burdens. He wants other people with down syndrome to know that they can do anything they want. They should not believe in people who say that they cannot do anything. They can and will do what they want to do.
Ritesh feels really lucky to have increased the bar of their reach too. They are hoping for the best and feel grateful to have this platform. They seem to have a lot of things planned to show to their fans and followers. There are many celebrities who follow him and have reached out to him, wishing him on his birthday and connecting with him through this platform.
Ritesh is now working towards improving his English speaking skills so that he can connect with more fans throughout the country. When he was younger, there was no awareness for people with down syndrome, and people with this condition were usually met with hate and ignorance. Now, he wants to change that and make others aware that down syndrome is nothing bad. Ritesh is now working on his speech skills, especially the English language, so he can reach more people and enlighten them about this.
Apart from spreading awareness about down syndrome, he is also supporting many other NGOs and their causes. He donates to charity and is now planning to collaborate with many non-profit organizations to help them reach their goals and spread their messages among the masses.
Content creation and modeling have helped Ritesh break out of his shell and become a more confident person. He is now carefree and makes conversation with people pretty easily. He feels happy that so many people want to talk to him and believe in him. The main benefit of starting this Instagram account was how bold and open Ritesh has become in comparison to before. He is not shy anymore, and can now speak and stand up for himself.