On a usual day when I am supposed to make my way into my daily shuttle, I took a detour to attend the launch of Muskaan – a cleft initiative by Himalaya and Smile Train India. As a person who tries to be decently informed, I “knew” what a cleft is. But like it is famously said, “Knowing is not enough.” What I knew about clefts was surely not enough to even start and scratch the surface of the topic. In the most layman terms, a cleft is a gap in the upper lip, upper palate or both. I knew about the condition – but I never knew the major repercussions that clefts can create and that is where this event was a major eye-opener.
Why should anyone care about clefts?
The cleft is a birth defect that happens when the tissue of the face do not join properly. However, the actual cause of clefts is unknown. Unfortunately, around 35,000 infants are born with clefts. Children with serious clefts are unable to suckle mother’s milk leading to other collateral damages. They grow up with psychosocial challenges related to physical appearances, social skills, and behavior. However, the good news is that clefts can be treated with a surgery that takes hardly 45 minutes and these children can lead normal lives.
Alright, How Can I Help?
This is where Muskaan comes in. Muskaan is an initiative taken up together by Himalaya and Smile train foundation. Every time you buy a Lip Care product from Himalaya, a contribution of Rs. 2 will be made towards the treatment of these children. To begin with, Himalaya and Smile Train has vowed to enable 100 cleft surgeries and they have already completed 55 of them successfully. However, this, as the brand says, is just a beginning. Himalaya’s aim is to ensure children in need of cleft surgeries get access to treatment at the earliest and at a tender age when healing is faster.
Are There Any Testimonies?
We were introduced to a young smiling Jyothi who was treated for her cleft recently. She was able to talk properly and it was extremely heartening to see her humming with Sona Mohapatra to the tune of “Oh re Chirayiya” and Muskan’s very own theme song of “Ghoom ghoom ke”. While everyone swayed to the music, I found myself a bit overwhelmed with emotions. It is nothing less than brave to live through a condition with no fault of your own and come out of it victoriously. Accompanying Jyothi was her mother. She fought this battle with her daughter and it was the time she smiled in relief too.
As a brand, I liked Himalaya and have reviewed a face wash earlier; with this new initiative I’m very much impressed by them.
Keep it Stylish! Stay Beautiful