We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest supporter, Smile Maker, LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2022, Divita Rai, who recently visited the Smile Train Cleft Leadership Centre (CLC) at Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Hospital (BMJH) in Bengaluru.
Far away from glitz and glamour it was a day for Divita to meet and interact with our Smile Makers and Cleft Warriors. On arrival at the hospital, Divita was warmly welcomed by Dr Krishnamurthy Bonanthaya, Senior Maxillofacial Surgeon and Mr Manohar Lal Bhandari, Trustee at Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital (BMJH), and other members of the Cleft Leadership Center (CLC) team.
Divita was given a tour of the facility, led by Dr Krishnamurthy Bonanthaya and the Smile Train team. He explained the various support services available at CLC, from early diagnosis and treatment of patients to training of cleft medical professionals.
Divita had an opportunity to interact directly with a patient to learn more about the support they receive from facilities like CLC. Hearing about the multi-disciplinary approach employed at BMJH, Divita was extremely impressed and appreciated the steps taken to not only repair clefts but also empower patients to build their confidence and self-esteem through the treatment.
As her tour continued, Divita interacted with several other patients of all ages, finding out more about their experience of being treated at the CLC. Much to the delight of a few younger patients, Divita even sat down and joined them for some play time together with the toys and games available at the facility.
In addition to engaging with the patients, Divita was elated to meet and thank hospital staff members who dedicate their lives to treating children with cleft.
Continuing the tradition started by her predecessor, Harnaaz Sandhu, Divita left her mark at the facility with a few inspiring words for the CLC staff on the dedicated message wall:
“Thank you for all the incredible work you do, team. Changing lives, one Smile at a time.”
Smile Train India’s association with the Miss Diva Organisation creates opportunities to give visibility to cleft lip and palate, a condition that is completely treatable but plagued with stigma and misconceptions. However, the importance of inviting individuals like Divita to our CLC goes beyond raising awareness as it also motivates our partner doctors, nurses and medical staff to be recognised for their selfless service.
The entire Smile Train India and BMJH team wishes Divita Rai best of luck for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant and looks forward to welcoming her back to the CLC soon!
As described by the Smile Train India team. Some images were taken by Times of India during the event at Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Bengaluru on September 9, 2022.