Aishwarya Rai is Smile Train’s first goodwill ambassador

MUMBAI: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been named as the first Goodwill Ambassador for Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity.

Recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Aishwarya will now partner with Smile Train, in association with her own charity, the Aishwarya Rai Foundation, in numerous ways to spread awareness and garner recourses to help the worldwide movement.

Aishwarya will work with Smile Train to achieve an ambitious new goal in helping change the lives of over one million children worldwide, who suffer from shame and isolation because of cleft lip and cleft palate. As Goodwill Ambassador, Aishwarya will actively work to help Smile Train to provide free cleft surgery to children in 76 developing countries around the world, including India. This initiative will help raise awareness in India and around the world to the plight of children born with cleft.

Aishwarya says, "God has given me plenty of reasons to smile and I feel it’s time to spread it around. There are a lot of children out there who so desperately need help, but can’t receive timely care because their families cannot afford this surgery or are ill-educated about this condition. Working with Smile Train, if I can make a difference in their lives, it will certainly make me feel honored and blessed."

Awareness for the problem has been raised worldwide through Smile Train’s recent Oscar-winning film Smile Pinki, which movingly portrays one young girl’s journey in India as her cleft lip is repaired by a Smile Train doctor.