Mission Smile Brings New Sunshine in Little Naveen’s Life

In our recently completed Vijayawada Mission, we met Gangale Naveen, a 2 year old baby with cleft lip and palate deformities. He’s born into a farmer family with a meagre daily income of Rs.300-400 per day. Both his parents are uneducated farm-workers. They didn’t have the faintest idea of cleft and like many in their village, thought it to be a curse inflicted upon them by the Almighty. Obviously, they wanted their child to look and grow up like all other normal children but due to lack of awareness about cleft, and the superstition surrounding it, even today among the[…]

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GC4 Conducted Agartala Cleft Care Camp – 33 Smiles Delivered in 5 Days

The 10th Agartala Cleft Care Camp was conducted in the TMC Dr BRAM Teaching Hospital by Mission Smile from 5th- 11th September’ 2017. Thirty-three children and young adults received life-changing surgery in this Camp which was led by the team from Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre (GCCCC). Mission Smile conducted the Camp in partnership with Government of Tripura at Agartala.  Patients for the Camp came from the districts of Dhalai, South Tripura, North Tripura, West Tripura, Gomati, Khowai, Sipahijala and Unakoti. A team of 17 volunteers comprising of Plastic Surgeons, Anaesthesiologists, Paediatrician, Nurses, Bio-medical technician, Speech Therapist screened 52 cleft[…]

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Life-Changing ‘Smile’- A Gift To Little Taiba

Cleft lip and cleft palate deformities are treatable. With proper treatment, which involves cleft rectification surgery and proper nutrition under medical guidance, cleft deformities can transform into perfect ‘smiles’. However, due to lack of awareness about cleft, inadequate financial condition of the affected person and moreover the social stigma associated with cleft, even today, the struggle of a cleft person remains unheard.  Particularly, the plight of children who are affected by cleft lip and palate deformities are even pathetic. Cleft babies cannot feed properly. They require a special feeding bottle, moreover, most of the children are from economically weaker section[…]

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Bismita’s Life Changed Forever – A Mission Smile ‘Impact’ Story

India is on the verge of being a superpower, yet the life of a child born with cleft deformities remains pathetic. Neglected and left alone to suffer, these children remain trapped within their own bodies. Where there should have been sympathy, there is stigma. Where there should have been compassion and care, there is social seclusion. Reconstructive surgery is the best and the only way to correct cleft lip and cleft palate deformities in children and adults alike, which renders permanent solution to their medical problems. Bismita’s life would have followed the same script as above, if she had not[…]

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How Ajgari’s Life Took a Turn from ‘Cleft’ to ‘Smile’

Cleft is often neglected in the poor and slum areas of India. The chief reason being the high expense of plastic surgery and associated treatments and therapies needed to cure cleft lip and cleft palate deformities. Also, a sad reality is the little or no access to proper medical care which adds to the lack of awareness among people affected by cleft deformities. We met Ajgari Khatun through our friendly associate Hemley Gonzalez who runs Responsible Charity, an NGO dedicated to empowering families out of poverty in slum communities and villages in India. It was our friend Hemley who contacted[…]

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Sajit’s Cleft Surgery Became the Turning Point of His Life

We saw Sajit Alam, the 5-month old baby, for the first time during the screening of our Siliguri Surgical Camp. The little baby was the unfortunate victim of cleft lip from birth. His parents had a meager monthly income of Rupees Seven Thousand only and the family struggled to make ends meet. They knew that surgery could treat the facial deformity of their beloved son –Sajit, but owing to its high cost of surgery, it was impossible for them to even think about the surgery! When interviewed by our program coordinator Subhankar Saha, Sajit’s mother unveiled the challenges her family[…]

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2nd International Mission at Gulbarga – A Step towards Cleft-free India

Our 2nd International Mission at Gulbarga, Karnataka, India took place from June 25 – 30, 2017. This was our 2nd Mission in partnership with Muthoot Pappachan Foundation at ESIC Medical College & Hospital and over all 4th Mission in Karnataka. The team of 50 volunteers from India, USA, Malaysia & Philippines, along with team ESIC Medical College & Hospital-Gulbarga, Student Volunteers from ESIC Medical College, Non-medical volunteers from Muthoot Fincorp Ltd-Karnataka had screened 108 patients, performed 64 Surgeries during 4 surgical days and received 80% of post-op turn out on the day of one week follow-up. We had an inaugural ceremony of this mission on June 25 in presence of[…]

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How Rishi’s Surgery Changed His Mother’s Life

Rishi Bordoloi from the interiors of the Morigaon district of Assam is our Child of May. Rishi’s background story reflected the non-medical problems of having a child with cleft deformity. When Rishi’s parents visited us on 15th May, we met a nine-month old boy who was friendly but at the same time experiencing the challenges of cleft. While interviewing the family, we came to know about the hardships Anupama (Rishi’s mother) faced being the mom of a cleft child. She confided she and the family had to face ‘embarrassment’ upon his birth. ‘Cleft’ had made the family cut off all[…]

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The Life Changing Story of Father and Daughter from Vadodara Mission

A smiling child brings smile to the faces of his/her parents. But what if the innocent smiles get eclipsed by cleft lip and cleft palate? All the aspirations of the parents surrounding their child can seem like a distant dream! We met Pradeep Yadav, a 30 year old man, during our Vadodara Mission who was suffering from the very visible deformity of cleft since birth. After being interviewed by Krishna Shah, our volunteer, we came to know about the hardships and challenges that Pradeep faced all throughout his childhood. Due to poverty and unavailability of proper help and guidance, he[…]

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Nirmala’s Transition from Desolation to a New Hope

Nirmala, a 13 months baby is the first child of Hukmaran Raika and Dalidevi Raika originally from Sultan Nagar, Junapatrasar, Barmer Dist. Rajasthan. They brought her to us with the hope that their daughter could live a normal life free from cleft. This charming and beautiful baby quickly drew our attention and our volunteer Devanshi Trivedi interviewed her parents to unveil her past stories along with their present experiences. Right from the day when Nirmala’s mother conceived her first child, every member of their family was too excited to greet the newborn. But all their excitements turned into despair when[…]

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