11-months-old Bornali Pegu belongs to a poor family of marginal businessmen from Jonai Village in Dhemaji district of Assam. The birth of the little one was sadly, not a joyous occasion for the family. When the family discovered that the child was born with a cleft lip and palate, they were shocked and cursed the gods that had given them a malformed child.
Often the neighbours and her family murmured among themselves about little Bornali’s deformity; but no one had outright disowned the child. However, feeding the child is a constant struggle for the mother. The child cannot eat properly and consequently suffers from malnutrition. Her cleft palate also causes trouble during breathing, making the life of the little one extremely difficult.
The Pegus heard about Mission Smile from their neighbour. At first they could not believe that such a surgery was possible; then there was the stroke of luck which seemed to shine down upon them – it was free of cost! They were instantly overjoyed, though a little sceptical about their little Bornali smiling again. On October 3, 2019, Bornali smiled a cleft-free smile for the first time. Her palate still needs to be operated upon and she will be scheduled for surgery as soon as her lip has healed.
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