1in 800 live births in our country are cleft Lip and Cleft Palate patients. Many of these children drop out of school, do not receive treatment, and become social problems for their families. And this is for a problem that can be easily corrected. It starts with recognising that these children are not objects of sympathy, but citizens with the same rights that we all enjoy. SPARSH Hospital runs a cleft lip and palette programme to address this issue.
|SPARSH Hospital launched smile campaign in conjunction with The Smile Train a charitable institution, this was launched by Dr.SantoshBabu collector of KrishnagiriDist at Sparsh hospital on 18/6/2007. Addressing the media on this occasion Dr SharanShivarajPatil, Chairman Sparsh Hospital has said that in this scheme all the cleft and their associated anomalies will be operated completely free of charge and this will be an on going Programme. He also emphasized on the important role of the media in reaching out and increasing the awareness among the general public on such conditions
The main objectives of the smile campaign are
- Increase the awareness among the general public
- operate all the cases of cleft free of charge
- Make areas within 200 kms in and around Sparsh hospital cleft lip and palate free.
We have got a very good response from the general public till now. We would like to reach out to many more especially in the rural areas. We have formed a partnership with doordarshan and are working towards this end. We think that doordarshan with a wide coverage in the rural areas will help us reach out to many more people.
1 in 800 live births are cleft patients. That is we have more than 30000 children with cleft every year. Out of which only about 10% of them receive any kind of treatment. Scientific studies have shown that most of the cleft children are seen in lower socio-economic classes with a monthly income of less than Rs 1700. Many children do not receive the treatment in India. Half of India's cleft children are deprived of their fundamental right to education. Many of India's cleft children go to bed each night hopeless and angry. We as a nation seem quite content to tolerate this violation of their basic constitutional rights.
It is time that we start thinking of these children, not as objects of sympathy, but as citizens with the same rights that we consider our due. That we believe, really believe, that every child, regardless of birth and circumstances is truly equal.