Shobha Naik, 19 and Lobha Naik, 15, waited long years for their Smiles. Shobha and Lobha had started believing that they had to live with Cleft. They never realized that life could be better for them. Shobha and Lobha are siblings born with Cleft Palate deformity at Kurumkela village in Sundargarh district of Odissa.
Shobha tried to go to school but schoolmates made fun of her due to the nasal sound. Cleft palate children often have nasal sound due to the missing palate. Shobha could not even complete her primary schooling as she could no longer take the pain of cruel name calling. Seeing Shobha’s pain, Lobha never desired to go to school. Their childhood was confined to household chores.
It was really heartbreaking for the parents. Apprehensive about the cost of treatment, their father, Gobardhan Naik who is a poor farmer, could not afford cleft surgery that could change their daughters’ lives. Shobha and Lobha’s parents had given up every hope for their recovery.
When their family came to know about Sundargarh Mission and Mission Smile’s Free Comprehensive Cleft Care service from an Anganwadi worker of their village, they brought Shobha and Lobha immediately to the mission site. Shobha and Lobha with their parents were accommodated at the Mission Smile site.
The sisters underwent screening across various stations at the Mission site. In the camp, they were surprised to see so many patients like them who arrived for this reconstructive surgery of Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate. After the medical evaluation, Shobha and Lobha were found fit for the surgery. On 28th March, 2016, both of them were taken to the Operation Theatre at the same time as their anxious parents waited outside. Their father was eagerly waiting to see his beloved princesses. Both the sisters were undergone their Cleft Palate surgery successfully. Now, they can speak fluently without the nasal sound.
With the confidence gained from her newly found voice, Shobha wants to pursue her dreams and join her studies again. Shobha and Lobha are very happy as their life has become easier than before. The family thanked Mission Smile for changing their lives.
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