FAQ

We understand how important it is to be fully informed before making a contribution. Hence we’ve included a list of frequently asked questions below. For accuracy, the FAQs surrounding cleft lip and palate have been answered using the information available at Smile Train website.

WHAT IS CLEFT?

Clefts are a common birth defect. In fact, globally, 1 in every 700 babies are born with a cleft lip and/or palate. A cleft occurs when certain body parts and structures do not fuse together during fetal development. Clefts can involve the lip and/or the roof of the mouth (palate).

WHAT CHALLENGES DOES A CHILD WITH AN UNTREATED CLEFT FACE?

Children with untreated clefts can have difficulties eating, breathing, and speaking, and are at risk of severe malnutrition. Also, most children with untreated clefts live in isolation, making it hard for them to find friends or go to school.

CAN CLEFTS BE TREATED?

Yes, the good news is that clefts are a medical condition that can be treated with reconstructive surgery and patients will see an immediate transformation. However, there are many barriers that children with untreated clefts encounter which may prevent them from receiving the surgery they so desperately need. Lack of information on treatment options, little to no income to cover the cost of surgery, and transportation to treatment centers are just a few of the obstacles. Many communities also face challenges with a lack of equipment and supplies, and a shortage of medical professionals. Smile Train helps address all of these barriers in our local, sustainable cleft programs.

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM CONTRIBUTION AMOUNT?

There is no minimum amount for contributions. Couple of pointers that can help you in making decisions:

  • 6,250 INR can cover one-fourth the cost of one child's cleft repair

  • 12,500 INR can cover half the cost of one child's cleft repair

  • 25,000 INR can provide cleft surgery for one child

  • Any contributions, big or small is acceptable as long as you believe in the cause.

HOW ARE THE FUNDS USED?

Donations help provide funding for local hospitals across India to provide year-round 100%-free cleft repair surgery for children in need. The hospitals contribute to each surgery as part of our cost-sharing model. A donation of just INR 25,000 supports a safe, quality surgery for a cleft affected child.

IS MY CONTRIBUTION TAX EXEMPTED?

The answer is YES, for an Indian citizen. If you contribute via SmileTrain website directly, you will be issued an 80G certificate for tax exemption benefits.

SHOULD I BE AN INDIAN CITIZEN TO DONATE?

Even if you are not an Indian citizen, you can donate via  Smile Train's Global payment gatewayHowever, for foreign contributions, a tax exemption certificate will not be issued.

Still have questions? Please do reach out.