Down syndrome no disability for Sahil Baride

Baride was seven-year-old when his parents introduced him to swimming, initially it was to improve his physical strength, breath control and health but eventually this turned into his passion

Down syndrome no disability for Sahil Baride

An special Olympic swimming champion, whose presence of mind and courage has helped in saving many lives by preventing a fire accident, a music lover who also plays musical instruments, Sahil Baride is like any other young boy who has many dreams.

It is true that this 25-year-old Andheri resident is living a happy life, but what remains unknown is the fact that he has Down syndrome, which he did not let become a hindrance for him.

“When Sahil was born, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome, a chromosomal combination, which results in delayed developmental growth and impairment of cognitive abilities. Yet they possess certain skills which, if identified and nurtured, could stand out in the melee of contemporary generation,” said Ashok Baride, Sahil’s father.

When Sahil was three-years-old, he was sent to a playschool which didn’t understand his special needs. Taking the advice of his paediatrician, his parents then enrolled him in a normal school when he was six-years-old. But, due to inadequate awareness on how children with special needs required an inclusive-education in school, it became difficult for him to continue in the school.

“So, the principal suggested that we shift him to a special school, which has the required facilities and trained staff,” added Sahil’s father.  

Sahil was then admitted to Canossa Special School, where his parents found limitless possibilities for his future. After this, they tried at the National Open School curriculum in 2008-09 and admitted him to Dominic Savio School, where career options for him were plenty.

“Inadequate awareness of inclusive education among the schools led us to send him to a special school for disabled. Hence, awareness among all stakeholders of our society towards special children’s requirement is needed,” said Aishwarya Baride, Sahil’s mother.

At the age of seven, Sahil was enrolled into swimming classes. Initially it was to improve his physical strength, breath control and health, but swimming became his passion.

Down syndrome no disability for Sahil Baride
Sahil Baride with his Silver medelas at Special Olympics Global Aquatics Meet at Puerto Rico, 2012

Sahil received his training under Santosh Rajak, a national level swimmer. He participated in the 1st State Paralympics Swimming Meet held in 2005 at Pune, where he bagged two gold medals.

This was the turning point for Sahil, which opened many doors of opportunities for him.

Unstoppable, Sahil went on to bag 25 gold and 15 silver medals in swimming.

But, for the Barides, it was a moment of pride when their son participated and won medals at State and National level Special Olympics and Paralympics Swimming competitions.

He represented India in Special Olympics World Aquatics Meet held at Puerto Rico where he won two-silver medals. This encouraged him to participate in Indian Team for the Special Olympics Asia-Pacific Games, 2013 held at Newcastle in Australia.

Not just in sports, but when it comes to academics, Sahil is an achiever. After successfully clearing the SSC exam conducted by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) in April 2009, Sahil went on to complete his five-year course in hospitality and catering from SPJ Sadhana School, Mumbai in 2015.

He is currently working in a customer ‘service’ team of Gourmet Store and is also being trained in the kitchen of Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. Though born as a special child, Sahil’s life journey has been as normal as any other child. Sahil believes that hardships are a part of our life, but we need to find ways to fight back.

Sahil (center) with his colleague at work
Sahil (center) with his colleague at work

Sahil had been an active participant of the Fire Drill lessons conducted at SPJ Sadhana School, which came to practical use in 2014, when Baride prevented a fire with his presence of mind.

“Sahil returned from school and was getting ready to leave for his swimming session, when our neighbour came over with her baby in arm to inform about fire in her AC. Without wasting any time, Sahil rushed to her house and switched off the mains. But by then the fire spread to her curtains and sparks flew across the room igniting the sofa. He asked neighbours to take the stairs and avoid elevators. After escorting the women, he called the security guards to shut the main power switch of the building and raised an alarm for others to vacate the building. With presence of mind and courage displayed by him, he saved many lives,” his father beamed.

“Just work hard, do what you like the most and do not give up till you achieve it,” said Sahil.

  • Vijayanand

    Hi Sail U r fantastic and superb with great human values. U r no long special child but u r very important to all the people around u.
    God bless u and continue all your pursuits with utmost dedication. Wish you many more laurels.
    Best wishes, Vijayanand & family.

  • Mithun

    Way to go sahil, making us proud at world sporting events, you have got more medals than our Olympics team. You have achieved what most people don’t achieve in their lifetime. Best of luck for your future endeavours and keep us posted so that we can cheer for you.

  • Prajakta Baride

    Sahil’s way of living life proves that ”Down Syndrome doesnot cause disabilities rather, it provides incredible ABILITIES”. I am his supporter and a well wisher. I am always with him. # brother sister bond

  • Arati kedia

    Sahil is an example of extraordinary parenting and total acceptance. His achievements are laudable and it feels extremely proud to know him and his family so closely. Way to go Sahil, You are truly wonderful!!

  • Vrinda Apte

    Way to go Sahil. Very proud of your achievements . Wishing you all the best in life.

  • Sajid Khan

    Sahil is a true winner. He is an extra ordinary human being. Kudos to him as well Santosh Rajak, his swimming coach in developing his confidence initially. Wishing him the very best is his life.

  • Praful Kenia

    Hats off to you, Sahil. You make yourself stand out amongst youngsters and indeed make your parents proud. Your success in your endeavors shall be your gratitude to your parents. Have known your dad for a few years and feel proud to know such a wonderful human being. Hats off to your Ashok and your mom. Three cheers for all of you. Hip hip hurray.

  • Santosh Rajak

    Iam very proud of Mr. SAHIL ASHOK BARIDE FOR ACHIEVING remarkable journey achievement, child to bigger age groups
    Graet salute to his father Mr. ASHOK BARIDE AND FAMILY

  • Dilip Korwar

    Sahil…….Simply hat’s off to you. You have got awesome talent. I feel very much proud to be your father and mother’s childhoods friend. I congratulate you for all your achievements. Furthermore I wish you all the very best in your future career.

  • Santosh Shetty

    Sahil .. u r indeed very special to all of us around u with such extraordinary achievements at this age. I would also like to appreciate one more quality of yours I.e. your humble behavior towards others which unfortunately most of our youngsters do not possess.. Very proud of u.. we all know that this is just the beginning, there are lots coming….. All the best for your future. God bless you

  • Dr Jayant P Baride

    Great ! He is a born fighter !! I admire not only Sahil but his parents, grand parents and elder brother too. I do not know how many relatives and friends really encouraged them, backed them in the struggle against Down’s ! Hardly few if I may say. The parents of special children should follow this family and make their children not only independent but to make them a good pillar for the society at large, excel in different fields. Again congrats all of you and also the media who is indirectly educating the masses at large.

  • Kumud

    I know sahil from childhood. Very enthusiastic and full of confidence all my blessings with u sahil hats of to u n ur parents. All the best to u my dear sahil

  • Prakash Mutgi

    Very good Sahil. We are proud of you.

  • sudhir dusange

    No doubt that inspite of short comings sahil has achieved a success and excelled in sports as well as academics.As far as career is concerned he will cross all the milestones for sure,congratulations to his parents as well for allowing to devlop his hidden talent ,their love and care will take him around the world for sure,now only sky is the limit for him

  • Absolutely phenomenal story of achievement. Speaks volumes about grit and determination that can overcome any adversity that chance may place in your path. Way to go Sahil. Remain blessed. May all success and happiness come your way.

  • Ashwin Sawarkar

    Sahil is such a loving boy who has multiple talents with pleasing manners

  • Sumukh Kale

    This is so inspiring!! Thank you Sahil for inspiring millions of people around you. I would like to congratulate Sahils parents for motivating him and bringing the best out of him. Wishing you all the best. Have a blessed life ahead.

  • Dear Sahil – you are such a courageous young lad & so talented. May God’s blessings always be with you in your wonderful initiatives. Love & 3 Cheers !

  • Ganesh Baban Kanse

    Proud of Sahil. My son is also down syndrom. I am keeping sahil as ideal for my son.

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you Uncle. Sahil

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you Ranju Aunty. I am happy in hotel and learning.

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you brother

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you sister

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you kaka.

  • Radhakrishnan (stats)

    Fantastic, Sahil !
    Here’s wishing you all the very best !
    I am sure the gold is yours in the next Olympics !

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you sister

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you Dr aunty

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you Santosh Sir

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you kaka.

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you all uncle and aunty. I am happy . I am enjoying in Hotel Grand Hyatt Gourmet Store.

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you all. I am happy. I am enjoying in Hotel Grand Hyatt Gourmet Store.

  • Maithilee Deshpande

    Hi Sahil
    This is Sunanda Kulkarni of Nyalkal.childhood friend of your parents.
    I heartily congratulate you for your outstanding achievements. This is very inspiring.
    I congratulate my childhood friends Ashok n Sharda for motivating n bringing the best out of you.
    Wish you happy n successful life ahead


    What an extraordinary and inspiring story! The parents, young Sahil, the coaches, the colleagues, the doctors and care givers…. You deserve my humble salutations!

  • Lok Thapa

    Hi Sahil you are too good. Good bless. I am wishing the same for my daughter who is 3 yrs old.
    Congratulations to you and your parents again.

  • Ashok A Baride

    Thank you for ur kind words, good wishes n support.

    As parents, we did what we should & could… but, its the results that have placed on a higher pedestal.

    We are truly humbled.
    Ashok & Aishwarya

  • Dr Neeraj Bhalla

    Dear Sahil,
    I haven’t met you, but my heart swelled with pride as I read about your achievements. All the very best wishes.

  • Ashok A Baride

    Thank you Sunanda.

  • Ashok A Baride

    Mr Thapa,
    Thank you. I am sure you will do everything for your daughter to blossom into a successful human being. May u & her succeed in your every endeavour.

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you Uncle.

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you uncle

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you kaka

  • Krutarth Hendre

    Everyone who knows you, is proud of you Sahil. Our families have been friends since a long time and we greatly admire the limitless support of your parents and elder brother Siddhant. Good luck and Godspeed!!

  • नमिता

    साहिल, मनःपूर्वक अभिनंदन. खरोखरीच तू ऐक मनस्वी व्यक्ति आहेस.

  • Parth Hendre

    Sahil’s story of life is a living example of how one should live one’s life..truly wonderful..truly inspiring and motivational !

  • Dilip Purohit

    Congratulations, Sahil. Keep it up. We are proud of you. You are an inspiration to many youngsters of your age. Sharda & Ashok, congratulations to you as well. We have seen your struggle and are proud of you as well.

  • Sahil Baride

    Parth my friend thank you.

  • Nagabhushan Mysore

    I know Sahil for a year or so, but it seems we have been friends for long. We are amazed by the depth of his affection, intensity of his interest, boldness of his ideas & suggestions, genuineness in his humour, involvement in his dancing, tenacity on X Box…well, there is an incomparable humane simplicity in everything he does. There is so much to learn from just observing him. I feel privileged to know him.
    All the best, Sahil…!!!

  • Shanta Nagbhushan

    Congratulations Sahil…great achievement!!! U have made your family proud of you. Hats off to Aishwarya and Ashok for the immense support and perseverance needed to achieve this height, and the guiding light in Siddhant. May god bless u with many more such achievements.

  • Shekhar Damle

    We are all proud to know Baride family and have watched Sahil grow and achieve unbelievable progress over the years and outstanding success.

    All members of the family deserve praise for Sahil’s success story.

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you aunty

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you Uncle

  • Sampada Deshmukh

    Really it’s great … SAHIL you are a fighter and your parents too..they faught for their kid with socity and everyone who has no awareness about this limitation…it’s difficult to have this kind of attitude to grow up a child with special needs …you have to have patience a lot..n hard work also….

  • Ashwin

    What a fantastic storyline, almost unbelievable . Your efforts and achievements are a source of inspiration not only to only to kids with Down’s syndrome but to all kids in general . Keep it up.

  • Sudhir

    Hi Sahil,
    You have achieved so much in such a short time period – it speaks volumes of your capability and hard work. Best wishes to take your swimming to greater heights.
    Now at Hyatt, you seem set to take off on your next passion as well. Wish I had your talent and dedication. Would love to meet you on my next visit to Mumbai.
    Ashok, as usual, you worked behind the scenes and quietly. Sahil must make you proud.
    Warm regards,

  • Sahil Baride

    Thank you Uncle. You come to my Hyatt Gourmet Store I will serve you welcome. Bye. Sahil