Mumbai: Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai
Bachchan has been appointed as the first Goodwill Ambassador
of `Smile Train`, an international charity that provides cleft
lip and cleft palate surgery to children in need.
The former Miss World, who turns 36 today, will
partner with `Smile Train` in association with her own
charity, the Aishwarya Rai Foundation, aiming to provide free
cleft surgery to over one million children in 76 developing
countries around the world, including India.
"There are a lot of children out there who desperately
need help, but can`t receive timely care because their
families cannot afford this surgery or are ill-educated about
"Working with Smile Train, if I can make a difference
in their lives, it will certainly make me feel honored and
blessed," Aishwarya said in a press statement.
The Oscar-winning short film `Smile Pinki`, which
depicts the transformation in a young girl`s life as her cleft
lip is repaired by a `Smile Train` doctor, recently brought
the problem of this physical deformity to the fore.
`Smile Train` currently has over 150 partner hospitals
in India and has performed over 200,000 surgeries. The
organisation also has 1100 partner hospitals worldwide.
"Aishwarya`s universal appeal and star power will be a
priceless asset to our organization, which does such important
work in every corner of the globe," said Smile Train President