India

Manipal (Hyderabad, India)

Manipal and his father came to the EARTHSPEAK speech camp in India dressed in the simple dress of the rural people and carrying all they owned on their backs. They were both barefoot. In the father's pocket was a bag of lentils, their food for the week they would be staying. He didn't know that food, transportation, and training were all provided at no cost.

The father knelt to bless the feet of the EARTHSPEAK team as they walked into the room. He was a simple man from a remote village over 500 kilometers from Hyderabad. He brought his son to learn how to help him speak normally.

The story of Laxmi (Southern India)

Laxmi arrived in camp with her brother (who was also born with a cleft palate), mother, and uncle, who became her primary teacher. Both children had been operated on with successful surgical results, but they were left with largely unintelligible speech.

The children were ridiculed in their home village and were not full participants in school or village social life. There was no possibility of a normal life for them.

Visit to Varanasi, India

February 2009, Varanasi, India. EARTHSPEAK received many requests to investigate starting a program in Varanasi, in northern India, under the sponsorship of Dr. Subodh Singh, a Smile Train partner, at G. S. Memorial, a private hospital devoted to plastic surgery care. The center has a staff of 50, including three full-time plastic surgeons.

Visit to Hyderabad, India

February 2009, Hyderabad, India. EARTHSPEAK has been working in Hyderabad since late 2004. This trip united team member Andi Jobe from the United States with India team members, including Dr. Mukunda Reddy, Head of Plastic Surgery at the Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and Ch Bhargavi, the newly hired Speech Pathologist on the Cleft Palate team at NIMS.

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