Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Announces Pledge Campaign with Smile Train India to Raise Awareness About Clefts
Mumbai, November 20, 2018 — Celebrating the memory of her father on his birth anniversary (November 20, 2018) in a special way, Ms. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan announced a pledge campaign with NGO Smile Train India, to create renewed awareness about cleft lip and palate. Smile Train is the world’s largest cleft charity that empowers local medical professionals to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally.
As Smile Train’s Global Goodwill Ambassador, Aishwarya Rai 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan said, “I am so touched with Smile Train India’s gesture to celebrate my father’s birthday as the Day of Smiles. I hope all of you come together and contribute to their efforts in every way, especially their Right To Smile pledge campaign. Together we can help every child smile.”
At the event organized by Smile Train India, Ms. Aishwarya, along with her mother Smt. Vrinda Rai and her adorable daughter, Aaradhya Bachchan spent time with cleft patients and encouraged them to live fuller lives and pursue their dreams. Smile Train partner hospitals organized ‘Day of Smiles’ celebrations across the country and cake cutting events were held with cleft patients and their parents.
The pledge campaign focuses on sensitizing communities about the impact of cleft on a child and that every child has the right to smile. Every year, more than 35,000 babies are born with clefts in India, and Smile Train India works with over 300 partner surgeons to facilitate these cleft surgeries, and related cleft treatment, free of cost.
Speaking on the occasion, Mamta Carroll, Smile Train’s Vice President and Regional Director for Asia said, “Shri. Krishnaraj Rai was a valued supporter of Smile Train India and was committed to helping children get second chances at life. As we celebrate his memory through the ‘Day of Smiles’, we hope to receive generous support from everyone toward the pledge campaign that our Global Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has so graciously started.”
Since 2000, Smile Train India has supported more than 500,000 free cleft surgeries in India. To show your support, sign the pledge campaign at smiletrainindia.org/pledge.