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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to spread Smile!

November 2, 2009 3:06:06 PM IST
Bollywood Trade News Network
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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, hailed by many as the most beautiful woman in the world, has today been announced 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 be adding one more role to her illustrious career. She will 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.

Using her superstar status, her high wattage personality and global reach, 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 78 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.

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Speaking in reaction to the worldwide announcement, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan mentions, "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."

Smile Train currently has over 150 Smile Train partner hospitals in India and has performed over 200,000 surgeries there. However, the need is great. In India alone, over one million children await surgery and currently only 50% of children born with cleft in India ever get the care they so desperately need. Smile Train's reach extends beyond India, with 1100 partner hospitals worldwide working to tackle the daunting backlog of over 4.7 million children living with unrepaired clefts.

"Aishwarya's universal appeal and star power will be a priceless asset to our organization, and we consider it a great privilege to have her represent our organization, which does such important work in every corner of the globe," said Smile Train President Brian Mullaney. "I look forward to working with her. Her poise, intelligence and dedication to our mission will catapult the work that we do to new and exciting heights."


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