In India, an estimated 35,000 infants are born with a cleft palate, and a vast majority do not have access to treatment due to a lack of awareness and stigma related to cleft. Despite the life-threatening risks it poses to children and their development, nutrition, and speech, some children don’t receive any care.
Himalaya along with NGO Smile Train has been spreading smiles across India, with previous campaigns focused on Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal,MP and Chhattisgarh. It is one of the leading brands in the Lip Care category and has been consistently spearheading cleft care awareness and making efforts towards bringing many more smiles to children across India through Muskaan. In addition to raising awareness, Rs. 3 is contributed towards Muskaan with the sale of every Himalaya Lip Care product.
On World Smile Day, Himalaya Wellness Company, launched its campaign, “Ek Naveen Muskaan”, in Maharashtra. The CSR initiative, in partnership with Smile Train – the world’s largest cleft focused NGO, aims at increasing awareness about cleft lip and palate – a facial birth anomaly. The campaign will also fund free life-saving cleft surgeries for children in need.
“At Himalaya, we continue to work hard to make an impact on people’s lives, and our ‘Ek Naveen Muskaan’ campaign perfectly embodies our mission of sharing happiness through wellness. The treatment of cleft is hampered more due to economic and perception constraints,and hence, the need to provide access to free surgeries and spread awareness becomes important. Through our partnership with Smile Train India, we’ve helped families across the country by providing free cleft surgeries for their children in need for the past six years. While it is only the beginning, our goal is to ensure that infants in need of cleft surgery receive treatment as soon as possible and make a difference in their lives,” said Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Business Director-Consumer Products Division, Himalaya Wellness Company.
As part of the CSR initiative, a toll-free Cleft Helpline number, 1800-103-8301, has been made available for people to enquire about cleft and avail free cleft treatment.
Stressing on the importance of early medical intervention and raising awareness about cleft lip and palate, Mamta Carroll, Smile Train’s Senior Vice President & Regional Director for Asia, said, “Untreated clefts can have a significant impact on a child’s health and well-being. Through our partnership with Himalaya Lip Care’s campaign Muskaan, we have been able to create awareness and break the stigma around cleft lip/palate in different parts of the country every year, while bringing smiles to many children since 2016. In Maharashtra, we are positive that the Muskaan campaign will create renewed awareness about cleft, the importance of early treatment and help us reach many children in need through our network of treatment partners across the state.”
Supporting the initiative, award-winning actor Atul Kulkarni said, “Ek Naveen Muskaan is a powerful initiative designed to bring smiles to thousands of children born with a cleft lip/palate and leading a life that can be altered with a simple surgery. I feel fortunate to be a part of this mission of spreading smiles. Children are the future of the country and should be treasured and valued. There should be nothing that deprives them of becoming the best of versions of themselves to feel valued and confident.”
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