SMILE PINKI, the captivating story of a desperately poor little girl in rural India whose life is magically transformed when she receives free surgery to correct her cleft lip has received a coveted Oscar nomination on January 22, 2009 in the category of best documentary short subject. Pinki, is a 5 year old girl who is living with a severe cleft in one of the poorest areas of India. Not allowed to attend school and ostracized because of her deformity, Pinki lives a life of quiet desperation as she waits and wonders if she will ever receive the cleft surgery her parents could never afford and that she so desperately needs. By chance, Pinkis parents meet a social worker one day who is traveling village to village, gathering patients for a hospital that provides free cleft surgery to thousands of poor children each year through the Smile Train program.
SMILE PINKI sheds light on the global problem of cleft lip and cleft palate. According to Smile Train, more than 4.7 million children in developing countries suffer with unrepaired clefts. Each child could be saved, just like Pinki, with a simple surgery that takes as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250.
Over the past 10 years, Smile Train has provided free cleft surgery for hundreds of thousands of children who would otherwise never have received it. The organization is the worlds leading cleft charity with thousands of partners and programs in 76 of the worlds poorest countries.