Down syndrome just cannot stop this all rounder from Ahmedabad!

In our series on Down syndrome, we profile a table tennis player from Gujarat, who ic creating quite a name for himself in the game.

Meet Om Lad, a 28-year-old national-level table tennis player, whose list of achievements is truly incredible! Apart from table tennis, this young man from Ahmedabad also loves to sing and dance.

The fact that he has Down syndrome has never held Om back from aiming for the sky. He has achieved many awards and recognitions. This young superhero also works with an NGO called Sparsh Foundation.

A busy man

Om’s weekdays are packed. He wakes up to meditate, rushes to his office, and then heads straight for a few hours of intense table tennis sessions.

His proud mother, Uma, says Om is too busy enjoying his life to leave any room for negativity.

Om is one of the most positive people I have come across in life. I have never heard him say a ‘no’ to anything. He is open to try out new things and is never scared. He gets along with all kinds of people and I have never heard him complain. There is so much to learn from him – Uma Lad, Om’s mother

When Uma got to know that her son has Down syndrome, she decided she was going to make him independent and fit for a competitive world. And that is just what she did!

Om takes a bus to work and he has been using public transport for the past 15 years. He even goes for movies alone – Uma Lad, Om’s mother

Loves the movies

A Bollywood fan who is one of Shah Rukh Khan’s biggest fans, Om never misses movies in theatres near him!

Om did his initial schooling from a school for children with learning disabilities. But soon he was moved to a mainstream school, where he attended special classes. He later did his vocational training while chasing his love for table tennis along side. Om has been a table tennis champion for the past 12 years. He has won umpteen gold and silver medals.

Recently he traveled to Jodhpur for a match where he won a gold medal in doubles and a silver medal in the singles event.

Uma believes that all that children with Down syndrome need is patience and time.

The more we give them that, the more they can benefit out of it. Om makes me very proud and he is extremely gentle and kind, a quality which is very hard to see in today’s world – Uma Lad, Om’s mother

Om is always looking to go out there and win more laurels. Next on the list of milestones to be achieved is to take part in an international championship. This young man has his sights on making his country proud!

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