Accomplished actor and model, Ali Fazal joined hands with Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, as a Smile Train Ambassador to create awareness and support for children born with clefts across the country.
Expressing his happiness on partnering with Smile Train India, Ali Fazal said,“Clefts are often not considered to be a serious global health issue. Smile Train’s focused approach of empowering local medical professionals to treat children born with clefts in their own communities has helped many families smile. It has also ensured a brighter future for these children. I am looking forward to working with Smile Train India as their Ambassador to help raise much needed awareness about clefts in the country.”
The association was announced by Smile Train at NHSRCC Children’s Hospital, Mumbai where free cleft surgeries will be provided under the Smile Train India program. Ali Fazal inaugurated the Smile Train – SRCC Cleft Project, spent time with cleft patients and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. Smile Train’s partner surgeon, Dr. Nitin Mokal and medical team were also present at the event.
Welcoming Ali Fazal, Mamta Carroll, Vice President and Regional Director- Asia, Smile Train, shared, “We are grateful to Ali for his support to further the cause of clefts and remind people that children with clefts can lead full, healthy and productive lives. In just 18 years, we have been able to provide funding to support free cleft surgeries to over 500,000 children with generosity of others to achieve our vision. We welcome Ali to our Smile Train family and together, look forward to bringing smiles to the faces of many children born with clefts.”
In India, over 35,000 children are born with cleft lips and/or palates every year. Children born with clefts have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking and often live a life of isolation. A cleft surgery that can take as little as 45 minutes can change that by giving the child an opportunity to go to school and grow up to be a contributing member of society.
Commenting on the partnership with Smile Train India, Dr. Soonu Udani, Medical Director, SRCC Children’s Hospital, said “We are proud to partner with Smile Train India to enable free cleft surgeries. At SRCC Children’s Hospital, quality and safety are kept at the core, which aligns with the principles that Smile Train India follows and we look forward to spreading more smiles through this association.”
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