Her smile is our strength

Smile Train

Anshu was born with a cleft

Imagine a simple family, leading a humble yet content life, awaiting the birth of their baby, when one day, suddenly, they learn their baby is born with a cleft. How would you deal with such a situation? Belonging to a society where there are numerous myths and superstitions associated with clefts, let me tell you, it’s not easy. 

My husband, Bajrang and I were shocked when we first saw Anshu. ‘What is this?’ was my first reaction when I saw a huge gap in Anshu’s lip as we had never heard of or seen a cleft before. 

The reactions of our relatives and neighbours made things even more difficult for us, when something wonderful happened; Anshu smiled for the first time. Unaware of her cleft or what the future held for her, she smiled the biggest, most beautiful smile, I have ever seen. And, it was this smile that gave both me and my husband the strength to put an end to the self-pity and to look for a solution to make our daughter’s life better. 

Doctors told us that Anshu’s cleft could be treated but we couldn’t afford the cost of surgery. Distraught, we thought of selling our small farmland…but luck was at hand. One fateful day a representative from Aabhari Plastic Surgery Centre, Hisar, came to visit us and told us about Smile Train and the free cleft treatment program. Without giving it a second thought, we visited the hospital to get Anshu treated. 

While waiting outside as Anshu underwent surgery, we could only be grateful that she would be relieved of the discomfort, would be able to grow up like all other children, and of the endless opportunities that the future would hold for her.

Anshu after cleft surgery

Anshu’s first smile after her surgery etched in our memories forever. Anshu’s smile was always beautiful, but this one was special - it is was a smile of relief, a smile of hopes and aspirations, and we are grateful to Smile Train for giving her all this and a lot more. 

As narrated by Anshu’s mother, Laxmi. Anshu underwent cleft repair surgery at Smile Train's partner hospital, Aabhari Plastic Surgery Centre at Hisar, Haryana

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