Sameer is one of the children who have returned to have palate surgery during this outreach having had their cleft lips repaired in 2015. It is wonderful to see him again looking so different.

He is now eighteen months old, the ideal age to have a palate repair – before he starts to speak. The family have travelled 100 km to be seen. Dad has a small farm of three acres, growing cotton. They are too poor to afford to pay for surgery.

Sameer’s Mum explains that when her son was born with a cleft lip , she felt ‘very bad’. All the family were upset, her mother-in-law, in particular, blamed her for the defect; people laughed at her baby and he was the source of jokes – she was very worried about his future.

Her father heard of someone who had been operated on by the NCF and so she came to Nagpur last year. She is thrilled with the result of Sameer’s surgery. She is also grateful that he can have his palate repair as she was worried that he would be unable to speak.

“Thank you to the team”, she says, “it is wonderful work.”