Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Celebrates ‘Day Of Smiles’ With Smile Train India On Her Late Father’s Birthday
In memory of her late father on his birthday, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, along with her mother Smt. Vrinda Rai and her adorable daughter, Aaradhya, celebrated the ‘Day of Smiles’ with cleft charity Smile Train India. The family spent time with cleft patients and encouraged them to live full lives and pursue their dreams.
As Smile Train’s Global Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Bachchan has been supporting the organization since 2009. In 2017, in the memory of Late Shri. Krishnaraj Rai, Smile Train India announced his birthday, 20th November, as the ‘Day of Smiles’ to honor his commitment to children with clefts through the Aishwarya Rai Foundation. The ‘Day of Smiles’ serves to remind people around the world how precious smiles are and the endless possibilities the power of a smile has for children with clefts.
At the event held at one of Smile Train India’s local partner hospitals, NH SRCC Children’s Hospital, Ms. Bachchan welcomed the Smile Torch, a national initiative by the organization that has already travelled across 14 states in India to help spread awareness about cleft and cleft treatment, to Maharashtra and spoke about the importance of early diagnosis and intervention for children born with clefts. She urged all the expectant and young mothers to help their children receive timely intervention. She also added that the earlier a child is diagnosed, better are his or her post-surgical rehabilitation outcomes.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Bachchan said, “I am grateful to Smile Train in their efforts to make this day memorable for us every year and pay tribute to my father. Every year, more than 35,000 babies are born with a cleft in India and providing safe treatment for children is critical. Smile Train’s initiative towards early detection and treatment of clefts is unique and aimed at reaching every child in need, no matter where they live. I hope all of you come together and contribute to their efforts in every way possible. Together we can help every child smile.”
Clefts can be diagnosed as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy. Early detection can lead to better treatment results. Quality and safe surgery combined with speech therapy, dental and orthodontic treatment, and emotional support are very critical for comprehensive cleft care. Over the years, Smile Train has taken significant steps in helping children born with clefts, and this year marked the completion of enabling 600,000 free cleft surgeries in India. Smile Train India works with over 300 empowered partner surgeons and a network of 150+ partner hospitals to facilitate these cleft surgeries, and related cleft treatment, free of cost to the patients and their families.
Speaking on the occasion, Mamta Carroll, Smile Train’s Vice President and Regional Director for Asia said, “We celebrate this day every year in the memory of Shri. Krishnaraj Rai who was a valued supporter of Smile Train India and was committed to helping children get second chances at life. We look forward to carrying on his vision and legacy and helping more and more children with clefts. Clefts are fully treatable and children can lead full and productive lives. We are thankful to Aishwarya and her family for their support and look forward to their continued support in our journey towards one million smiles in India.”
Mr. Rupesh Choubey, Facility Director, SRCC Children’s Hospital Managed by Narayana Health said, “We are extremely delighted to partner with Smile Train India to enable free cleft surgeries. SRCC children’s Hospital, managed by Narayana Health has always believed in offering quality healthcare services that are affordable to all. Quality and safety are kept at the core, which aligns with the principles that Smile Train India follows and we look forward to spreading more smiles through this association”
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