Doctors call it the “ignored problem” and semi-literate parents in India’s rural hinterland view it as a “curse of God”.
Megan Mylan’s documentary film “Smile Pinki”, the story of an eight-old girl with a cleft lip, may have won an Oscar, but for thousands of children living with the deformity, the battle is far from over.
Pinki’s story only came to light after the documentary portrayed how society ostracized the little girl in Rampur Dhabahi village in Uttar Pradesh.
One in 35,000 children in India is born with the deformity every year. An estimated one million cases of cleft lips are left untreated in India and doctors say it is one of the most serious birth defects.