This is what it’s all about.

Yashika is 3 months old. Her cleft lip and palate was possibly due to lack of pre-natal nutrition, as clefts do not run in her family, and Yashika’s mom suffers herself from anemia. Mom is 21 years old – married by match at the age of 19. She was raised by her father as her mother passed away when she was very young. Her husband is a car mechanic and owns a small shop, and could not leave it or he would lose income, so mom came with her sister-in law and mother-in-law. The family, who lives about 50km away, saw the advertisement in the newspaper.

Yashika pre surgeryImagine giving your infant to a complete stranger for surgery. The young mother had every reason to be fearful, and when her daughter was taken from her, she burst into tears.  She later told me she cried for two reasons – the first was that her baby had been crying and was hungry and she could not feed her or she could not have surgery. But mostly she was so fearful that something might go wrong in surgery.

Yashika was in the good care of the Rotaplast Surgical Team. Thanks to Dr. Gagan’s skillful hands and the talented OR team, the first of many miracles that will happen here was performed.

DSC_0006This beautiful child can look forward to a life free from ridicule. After a night in the hospital just to make sure all is well, the mom was given instructions for Yashika’s care, was assured that help would be here if she needed it, and sent on her way home. It is a bitter sweet moment for this beautiful young mother. Her daughter has a new lease on life, but sadly, Yashika’s grandfather passed away this morning.


This is 18-year-old Naina. She had an Uvuloplasty to help with her speech. Nick named by us ‘smiley-girl’, she was mostly worried about getting a written excuse for missing school!!!!

PoonamMeet 3.5-year-old Poonam. She is the youngest of 4 siblings. Her father is a farmer. They live in the state of Madhya Pradesh, about a one day’s train ride from here. Several years ago her father was in New Delhi visiting relatives – a rare trip – when he saw a poster advertising free cleft lip surgery by Dr. Gagan, who lives in New Delhi. Poonam suffered from a bi-lateral cleft lip (both sides). Her father made the contact, and surgery was performed for the lips. But she still needed her palate fixed.

Dr. Gagan kept in touch with the family and informed them that Rotaplast would be in Faridabad. Because the Monsoon never really came this year, the farmers are suffering. It took her family everything they had, and then some (a ‘loan’ from the local people in town who make a little business by charging a little interest) for them to bring her here.


They made it here, and little Poonam got her much needed surgery. Now she will be able to eat properly and grow strong. And she will be better able to talk, and can go to school.  And it is all due to those who support Rotaplast.


While our experiences are joyful, we are reminded that it is not always so at hospitals.  Just now we heard the wails of those who have lost a loved one, and our young genetics team members have tears in their eyes.  But we’ll end on a bright note, and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our beloved Parwati – a member of the custodial staff that has taken care of us from the first day, bringing us tea and snacks and the biggest of smiles!!!