New Delhi, Dec. 20, 2019: Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, announced renowned Indian Cricketer and Padma Shri awardee, Harbhajan Singh as a Goodwill Ambassador for India. As Goodwill Ambassador, Harbhajan Singh will actively support Smile Train India to raise awareness for children with clefts and the free treatment available through Smile Train’s local partner hospitals.
In India, it is estimated that more than 35,000 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate every year, and hundreds of thousands of children globally live with untreated clefts. Cleft treatment is safe and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train provides training, funding and resources to medical professionals to provide 100%-free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.
In response to the announcement, Harbhajan Singh shared, “A child’s smile is pure joy and it is hard to imagine that babies born with a cleft have difficulty eating, speaking and breathing. The good news is that cleft is treatable through surgery and related ancillary treatment such as speech therapy and orthodontic treatment. For the last 20 years, Smile Train has been doing great work across India and I am happy to be a part of this unique and wonderful initiative. I look forward to using my platform to raise awareness for children with clefts.”
Smile Train has supported 600,000+ free cleft surgeries in India through a network of 150+ partner hospitals across the country. Providing safe surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children at scale is critical, as Smile Train looks to continue to expand their programs and reach out to every child in need of cleft care.
“Harbhajan Singh is an inspiration to millions of youth in our country and we consider it a great privilege to have him support our organization. We welcome Harbhajan Singh as our Goodwill Ambassador and are grateful for his generous support to Smile Train and children with clefts,” said Mamta Carroll, Vice President & Regional Director-Asia, Smile Train.
Harbhajan Singh recently supported Smile Train’s unique initiative, The Smile Torch. At an event organized at Wagah Border, Amritsar, Harbhajan Singh along with DIG BSF Mr. Bhupinder Singh, Smile Train India team, medical partners and cleft patients welcomed The Smile Torch to Punjab. The general public at the Flag Lowering Ceremony at Wagah Border were educated about cleft lip and palate, its treatment and was mesmerised by the performances of former cleft patients.