With the aim of eradicating untreated clefts among children, Smile Train India started operations in 1998. Present in over 85 countries, the organisation has solved the problem of cleft by offering comprehensive and free of cost cleft care to children affected with this inherent defect. The end-to-end care spans from the surgical procedure of cleft repair to rehabilitative services like orthodontics, speech therapy, and nutritional support.
Operating on a sustainable model, it trains, funds and empowers local doctors to provide cleft care in their own communities, who in-turn teach others in the medical field to offer the same care. With more than 235 partner surgeons on-board, the institution ensures that children in India receive round-the-year cleft care.
Smile Train India has successfully completed 5,00,000 cleft correction surgeries in India, adding back happiness to young faces.
About 35,000 children in India are born with cleft every year, out of which only 50% of them get treated. This inbred defect not only acts as a barrier to them performing everyday tasks like eating, breathing and speaking, but also make them a recipient of shame, bullying and teasing due to their deformed appearance. The gravity of this problem extends to social exclusion, scarring the individual and the family’s emotions and esteem, which leads to a strenuous battle with themselves and the society. Many cleft-affected children, especially girls, are killed at birth or are eventually abandoned. Most leave this innate defect untreated due to the perceived cost of treatment involved, lack of treatment centres, or ignorance of its long-term impact.
Our association with Smile Train India in 2014-2015, has helped successfully complete 34,000 surgeries which is a small step towards giving an opportunity to the treated individuals to be ‘happy’, be the best versions of themselves, and live a life where any physical deformity does not get in their way of reaching their full potential.
“We believe that one life is all we have, to be who we want to be. We celebrate this belief through a milestone in our partnership with ‘Smile Train’ – an international charity for 100% free cleft repair surgeries. With the successful completion of 34,000 surgeries, we have taken a small step towards providing thousands of children an opportunity to lead a happy productive life – a life where they can reach their full potential and be who they can be.” #OneSmileAtATime
“It was a very happy moment for us hearing that the treatment will be free. We thanked God for making available this blessing”
“Our twins were treated for cleft for free at Kanpur. Our joy has doubled with the treatment of our children”