Indhumathy was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate to Kumar, a porter and Bhuvana, a housewife. With a meager combined salary of Rs. 4500 per month, Kumar and Bhuvana did not know how they could pay for the corrective surgery their daughter needed. They also had to endure cruel comments about her appearance from neighbours. Indhumathy was also rejected by her grandfather because of her physical condition.
Her parents consulted a local doctor but this did not lead to anything. However, after they heard about Smile Train through a local newspaper, they traveled 20 kms to reach the nearest center. Here, they were treated with warmth and empathy and were delighted to learn that surgery for their daughter was now within their reach as Smile Train would bear the cost for this.
Since 2000, Indumathy has undergone four surgeries, along with speech therapy. According to her parents, she is now able to lead a normal life free without fear of social rejection. Bhuvana is happy that her daughter’s appetite and health have improved since the surgery. Indhumathy is currently in 10th standard and is a bright student, usually scoring over 90% in most subjects. She aspires to be an engineer one day. There was a time when she was often teased by her classmates because of her cleft lip. But those days are a distant and dark memory now as the same classmates are now part of a widening circle of friends.
Apart from academics, Indumathy loves dance and singing and helps her mother in cooking. She learns various dance forms – Bharatanatiyam, folk dance and western dance, to name a few – and enjoys singing devotional and movie songs.