As Indians around the world celebrated Slumdog Millionaire's eight Oscars today, residents of one small village in northern India were busy giving thanks for another Oscar winner – a 39-minute documentary called Smile Pinki.
The film, which won the award for best short documentary, tells the story of Pinki, a six-year-old Indian girl who was born with a cleft lip in the village of Rampur Dhavaia village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Directed by Megan Mylan, an American, it documents Pinki's transformation from an introverted social outcast into a vivacious local celebrity after a 45-minute operation in 2007 funded by a US charity called The Smile Train.
India alone has a backlog of more than a million people with cleft lips waiting for surgery and every year, another 35,000 people are born with the condition on average, he said.
The Smile Train says that it has provided free corrective surgery to 470,000 children since it was set up 10 years ago and now operates in 76 of the world's poorest countries.
Brian Mullaney, co-Founder and president of the charity, said: "We hope that this recognition and exposure will help us raise awareness so that we can provide life-changing surgery for every child in the world who needs it no matter where they live or how poor they may be. The Smile Train will not stop until we reach that goal."
Hope they make more kids smile....