Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Speaks Up for Cleft Children
It was a special day for her, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan said, when she joined us on November 19 to pledge the Aishwarya Rai Foundation’s ongoing support for Smile Train. It was the twentieth anniversary of her Miss World title and just a day short of her father’s 76th birthday.
We were overwhelmed that she chose such a personally significant day to reinforce her commitment to Smile Train. As Smile Train’s global goodwill ambassador since four years, she has been an active spokesperson and a generous supporter of the cause. With the support from her foundation, we have succeeded in completing a 100 additional cleft surgeries. The difference this has made to the lives of the children and families present at the event is difficult to describe in words.
What exactly is this difference worth? Seeing a child smile for the first time is an amazing, emotional experience and an overwhelmed Aishwarya hit at the core when she said: “A smile is definitely the most amazing experience in life and I am experiencing immense joy today thanks to all of you. I am so glad that I personally took this step and will continue my efforts to spread this joy and happiness associated with a smile that we are experiencing in this room today. I turn to the members of the media to help me spread the word and the work of Smile Train far and wide within our country and beyond.”
It is this joy of seeing a child smile for the first time that keeps us motivated at Smile Train. Cleft surgery is a simple procedure which can be completed in as little as 45 minutes but truly transforms the life of a cleft child. Besides an unsightly appearance, a cleft child has difficulty in eating, speaking and breathing. And so, this surgery is not just about restoring a child’s smile but about providing a cleft child the opportunity to lead a full and productive life. 2014 has been a landmark year as Smile Train completed a million free surgeries for cleft children. But we have a long way to go…millions of cleft children still need our help…and we need the help of our supporters to get there.
We are very happy Aishwarya could be with us on such a special day to drive this message home. Her words captured this beautifully, “A smile has so much more meaning when you have a heart that gets warmed by it.”
Smile Train can provide life-changing cleft support only because of the kind contributions of people like you.
Our impact in India
as of April 2023