Right from her childhood, Zainika Jagasia, a 19-year-old girl with down syndrome, wanted to be a model. Born to supportive parents in Mumbai, she had her dream come true when her parents arranged a photoshoot in 2021.
Soon, she got many more projects.
After the first photoshoot, Zainika shared that she felt more confident. “Wherever I have reached today is thanks to my parents and all the therapy that I’ve been taking since childhood. Today, I can talk better, speak better English, form better sentences and I’m able to physically cope up as well,” said the youngster to The Quint.
Her parents have been a pillar of support throughout.
Zainika’s mother, Reshma Jagasia, says she had a gut feeling throughout her pregnancy that ‘there was something wrong’. “It was almost like my child was talking to me all the time,” she told The Quint. She stayed conscious during her C-section surgery and when the baby was born, the doctors confirmed that she had down syndrome.
The ever-supportive parents then spent 8 to 10 hours a day with their child in occupational, physical and speech therapy when Zainika was just months old.
The bright girl is now a popular figure on social media with her baking skills. During the first lockdown, she got into professional baking with her sister, Gitika Jagasia, who runs a bakery called Homebred by Gitika.
Even though Zainika is a bright student and has scored 80 per cent marks in her board exams, her parents realised that the lockdown period was not aiding her growth. To learn more skills, she joined hands with Gitika.
“Initially, I was not very interested in baking. I didn’t particularly appreciate getting my hands dirty. But now I enjoy it, especially baking chocolate cookies,” said the baker to The Logical Indian. “Over time, I was able to take up a lot of responsibilities on my own. My sister was able to take a day off, which put me in charge.”
Now her dream is to become a full-time model and walk the ramp for Gucci someday. “I want to emphasise that everyone has a place in this world. You will meet people that adore and support you,” she shared with Deccan News.
“Watch: Down Syndrome Didn’t Stop This Model and Baker From Achieving Her Goals”, published by The Quint on 14 March 2022.
“My Story: ‘Getting Clicked For My First Photoshoot Was A Magical Experience’”, published by The Logical Indian on 25 November 2021.
“Zainika Jagasia, a girl with Down Syndrome, says, ‘I want to be a model.’”, published by Deccan News on 13 January 2022.
Edited by Yoshita Rao