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Aishwarya Rai, former Miss World and one of Indian cinema’s top stars, recently became the goodwill ambassador for Smile Train, an organization that works towards providing medical assistance for children with a cleft lip and palate.

In Aishwarya’s words, “God has given me plenty of reasons to smile and I feel it’s time to spread it around….. if I can make a difference in their lives, it will certainly make me feel honoured and blessed.”

Aishwarya will work with the organization in creating awareness in 75 developing countries including India. In India alone, over one million children require cleft surgery – and of these, a large number are either ill-educated about this condition or are unable to afford the medical treatment and care required. One such case assisted by Smile Train was the subject of the 2008 Oscar winning film Smile Pinki (Best Documentary Short).

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