“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
– Mother Teresa.
We often say that charity begins at home and for a fact, I have always followed this principle in my life. I still remember running around in my school and raising funds for social initiatives that made me happy, and my parents proud. These memories came flooding back, when I got the opportunity to visit a school that was raising funds for Smile Train recently.
Before this visit, I had very limited idea about what Smile Train did and their approach towards healing the cleft. I had heard of what a cleft lip/palate is, but I was far removed from the impact a birth anomaly like this had on a child or their family. I could not have imagined the intensity of its impact, which changes the quality of life of hundreds and thousands in the country!
But the opportunity to spend a day assisting Smile Train provided me insights which I couldn’t have possibly learnt otherwise. It takes tremendous courage for an organization to adopt a lesser-known cause and bring smiles to lakhs of children, who otherwise wouldn’t have smiled!
I was thrilled and impressed to meet the students of SaS Billabong High School, a school in Mumbai, who celebrated their Annual Conclave (just before Diwali) by raising funds for Smile Train and helped provide million-dollar smiles for children with clefts.
It’s said that what you see affects you more than what you read. That day, watching Smile Train’s presentation and video addressing the issue of cleft was an eye opener for everyone present in the mini auditorium. The cause was not only supported by the students but also by the Parents Teacher Association (PTA) that helped Smile Train spread more smiles across the country.
Through this experience, I also got a chance to appreciate the work of many plastic surgeons who are volunteering their time with Smile Train to transform lives of children every day. Their role in treating children born with clefts is a silver lining for people who have been victims of isolation just because of the deformity. I felt an emotional turmoil when I got a chance to work with Smile Train and spread smiles to the ones who deserve it the most.
Authored by Upasana Sarkar, a Smile Train supporter. Upasana recently got the opportunity to visit young Smile Makers at SaS Billabong High School, who celebrated Diwali by raising funds to heal clefts and spread smiles.