In Varanasi, India one of Smile Train's oldest and highest performing partners, GS Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital, will reach a new milestone - 20,000 Smile Train-sponsored free cleft surgeries.GS Memorial, under the leadership of Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh runs one of the largest cleft centers in the world and has been a Smile Train partner since April 2004. It was even featured in the 2008 Academy Award@ winning Documentary, Smile Pinki.
Priscilla Ma, Executive Director of Smile Train congratulated Dr. Subodh and said, "During the last 12 years at Smile Train, we have learned so much about the delivery of cleft care around the world by partnering with local medical communities. It was Margaret Mead that said, 'never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.' Dr. Subodh, you are a true hero, setting an extraordinary example for our staff, international partners and humanitarians around the world."
Baby, an eight month old little girl who will be discharged today, was born with a complete cleft of the lip and palate and was originally screened by Dr. Subodh at a camp in Daltonganj, Jharkhand when she was 13 days old. At that time she was deemed not fit for surgery. She returned on May 20th for surgery and became GS Memorial's 20,000th patient.
In South Asia and around the world, Smile Train enables local medical professionals and communities to provide more than 300 free cleft surgeries every day. Founded in 1999, Smile Train is the world's largest cleft charity with thousands of partners and programs in many of the world's poorest countries. Smile Train provides free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to children from poor families that give a child not just a new smile, but a chance at a new life. Smile Train has provided financial support and training to on-ground institutions in 80+ countries around the world. For more information go to www.smiletrain.org.