India is on the verge of being a superpower, yet the life of a child born with cleft deformities remains pathetic. Neglected and left alone to suffer, these children remain trapped within their own bodies. Where there should have been sympathy, there is stigma. Where there should have been compassion and care, there is social seclusion.
Reconstructive surgery is the best and the only way to correct cleft lip and cleft palate deformities in children and adults alike, which renders permanent solution to their medical problems.
Bismita’s life would have followed the same script as above, if she had not been a fortunate one! Today we’re going to share her story of transformation.
Bismita Rajbongshi from Assam was born with bilateral cleft lip and palate deformity. The cleft deformity prevented her from feeding properly depriving her from the necessary nutrition as a result of which Bismita fell a victim of malnutrition by 3 months of age.
Her worsening condition, added to the stigma in their community, left her parents worried. Some called it a ‘divine curse’, others hailed Bismita’s parents responsible. Bismita’s mom has said in a recent interview that back in those days, she was even scared of taking Bismita outside the house fearing the social stigma and shame they faced. Moreover, the hefty expense needed for cleft surgery at a private hospital was unaffordable for the poor family.
The information of Mission Smile thus came across as a ray of hope for the family.
Bismita’s parents visited Mission Smile’s Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre (GC4) where Bismita was screened by the doctors and was enrolled into the Cleft Nutrition Programme in order to improve her health parameters for safe surgery. As part of the programme, she was treated for malnutrition through close for the next four months, until she attained the necessary parameters to undertake the surgical procedure.
Bismita first received her surgery for repair of her cleft lip at Mission Smile’s Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre. A second surgery after six months repaired her cleft palate. Bismita’s grimace finally turned into a smile!
Bismita’s story doesn’t end there. As part of Mission Smile’s Impact Assessment , our team recently visited Bismita’s family and was very happy to see her transformation and assimilation with the society. Today Bismita is like any other normal child – goes to school regularly, plays with her friends, helps her mother in her household works and is growing stronger with every passing day. During our visit to the school, we came to know that Bismita is a regular school and doing well in her studies. Our team was delighted to see Bismita at par with her classmates.
Once scared to take her daughter out of the house, today Bismita’s mother is happy and relaxed to see her daughter leading a normal life just like other girl of her age. The parents are thankful to Mission Smile for bringing this change in their daughter’s life and to theirs as well. According to Bismita’s parents, this is a ‘miracle’ but to us this is the IMPACT of rendering comprehensive cleft care early on in life.
At Mission Smile we’re striving to bring more smiles on the faces of cleft affected children. In this mission, we need your Support.
DONATE to Mission Smile for more Smiles.