Not all heroes wear capes.
Dr. Subod SIngh is a hero in all worlds and he just loves it when he makes a kid smile.
Singh was once a student who sold goggles and washed soaps to support his family in Varanasi, India, in 1979, but today, he’s known all over the country for doing something no one wanted to.
Dr. Singh is known for performing free corrective surgeries on kids that are born with cleft lip, which is also known as cleft palate. The man has managed to return smiles to over 25,000 families and has carried out 37,000 free surgeries.
Talking about why he carries out free surgeries, he said:
In every cleft child who has come to me, I have visualised that little Subodh, who lost his father when he was only 13. My father Gyan Singh and mother Giriraj Kumari (she died last year) taught me to serve the poor and live ethically. I feel God made me a plastic surgeon and not a businessman to serve a divine cause. Whatever we received as gratuity after my father’s death was used to clear the debt. Along with my elder brothers, I sold homemade soaps and was often insulted when I asked for settling our dues. We set a target of 2,500 cleft surgeries by December 2005. The Smile Train India team, while considering our target too ambitious, asked us to go for just 500 free surgeries by 2005-end. We crossed that figure by 2004-end and went beyond 2,500 by the following year-end.
In 2002, Dr. Singh started his free treatment to mark his father’s death anniversary.
Singh says he started performing corrective cleft surgeries from 2003 and 2004, which became a part of the “The SMile Train” project, which is the largest cleft surgery-focused organization.
Talking about their goal, Dr. Singh said:
We set a target of 2,500 cleft surgeries by December 2005. The Smile Train India team, while considering our target too ambitious, asked us to go for just 500 free surgeries by 2005-end. We crossed that figure by 2004-end and went beyond 2,500 by the following year end. Since 2008-09, we annually perform 4,000-plus free cleft surgeries under this initiative.
The best thing about this is that Dr. Singh does not work alone.
Dr. Singh works with a team of plastic surgeons, social workers, nutritional experts and speech therapists to help the little kids get back to their normal life. Not only that, but they also have prepared an outreach programme to track cleft kids from across the country, especially the ones that are in Eastern and Northeastern India.
When asked about what the surgeries are capable of doing, Dr. Singh said:
We have not only corrected congenital deformity, but also reunited families where the husbands abandoned the wives for delivering a cleft baby. Our team has saved hundreds of severely malnourished cleft kids through the focused nutritional support training programmes.
The kindness of Dr. Subodh does not stop there.
Dr. Singh and his team have also performed 6,000 free extensive burn surgeries for burn victims.
What Is Cleft Palate?
Cleft Palate is a very common birth condition. This can happen to anyone despite their genetic condition or syndrome. Most of the time, people born with this condition have difficulty in speaking and eating. The good thing is that surgery can restore normal mouth and lip function with minimal scarring.
What are your thoughts on the kind gesture of Dr. Singh? Let us know what you think about his kind gesture by leaving a comment in the comments section below!