A smile that lights up Hyderabad

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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The little boy looks shyly at the ground as his mother is asked to introduce him to me. He is six years old, with beautiful, big brown eyes.  

His name is Anji and tomorrow he will face a defining moment in his life – he will undergo surgery to repair the cleft lip and palate he was born with and has had to live with ever since.

The scene is the cleft ward at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in the sprawling central Indian city of Hyderabad. The cleft surgeries here are funded by The Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft programme, which specialises in assisting families in developing markets who cannot afford the operations (around US$250 in much of the world, even less in India).

Nizim’s, led by the inspirational Dr Mukunda Reddy, will conduct over 800 cleft surgeries in Hyderabad this year. One will be Anji, who will go into the operating theatre the next day for the 45-minute surgery that will transform his face, his speech and his life.

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The Moodie Report is here to check out the work of The Smile Train, which is the recipient cause of our big October 5 fund-raising dinner in Hong Kong, co-organised with Hugo Boss.

I tell Anji that he’s a handsome wee boy who will one day play cricket for India. I gesture a cricket shot as Dr Reddy translates for him. Suddenly Anji’s face bursts out with a smile as wide as Hyderabad. It’s a wonderful, enriching moment and everyone laughs along. Everywhere in this room there is hope, hope that has followed years of despair in many cases.

Anji and countless other children like him would be the forgotten ones if it were not for The Smile Train and hospitals such as Nizim’s. Because of the funding that the programme generates – and the awareness The Smile Train creates in the community – lives are being changed.

As we ask for your support of the charity dinner, please remember Anji’s cheeky eyes, his cherubic face and his smile that was already beautiful but which by now has been given a wonderful new dimension by Dr Reddy and his team.

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  • Martin, thank you for your inspiring report from Hyderabad. It will be an priviledge to be in Hong Kong on 5th October and support such wonderful people as Dr. Reddy and countless Dr. Reddys across the globe who do such selfless work for the afflicted children of the world. There are many requests on our time and money – but none that so clearly outlines the accessability of the cure and the profound and life-changing effects it has on fellow human beings. Keep up the great work.

  • Hi Martin,

    I had no idea you were involved in this great project. Two doctors from our church were recently in the West Bank repairing cleft palates. My wife and I support their mission with gifts.

    Best regards,

    Paul