IMPHAL, May 2 - The Shija Foundation of the Shija Hospitals here today organised the �Smile Torch� event, a valedictory ceremony to show patronage to their Smile Train partners, on spreading awareness about clefts.
Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla and Smile Train partner surgeon Dr Kh Palin attended the ceremony as the chief guest and the president respectively.
Addressing the ceremony, Governor Dr Heptulla said that �Smile Torch� is aimed at generating awareness about clefts and their corrective measures. The torch symbolises the light of wisdom and the passion for knowledge � a metaphor for dispelling the darkness of myths, fallacies and social stigma surrounding clefts. �Smile Torch� is a unique national initiative for creating renewed awareness about clefts and their treatment and to sensitize communities about the challenges faced by children born with clefts.
Smile Train, an NGO based in the United States, is working to eradicate the global problem of cleft lips and palates. With a population of nearly 30 lakh, it is estimated that around 5,000 people are suffering from such birth defects in Manipur.
Appreciating the service rendered by the Shija Foundation, the Governor said that the Government alone cannot bear the full burden of health care. At least, a part of it must be provided through voluntary services by people who are willing to serve the healthcare system.
As part of today�s programme, Smile Train partner surgeon Dr Kh Palin gave a presentation on the Smile Train Shija Cleft Project. Managing Director of Oking Hospital, Kohima, Dr Vikethonyu spoke on the Mission Nagaland. Smile Train partner surgeon Prof Dr Guruaribam Nilamani Sharma spoke on the Smile Torch event at Imphal. Prizes were also distributed to the winners of the Smile Torch spot painting competition, which was held on April 28 under the theme, �What Makes Me Smile�.
New Manipur scribes� body: Kakchingtam Bijoy, associate editor of Poknapham, a vernacular daily of Manipur, has been elected as the new president of All Manipur Working Journalists� Union (AMWJU). Eight others including Longjam Arishrona (The People�s Chronicle), Jimmy Lamkang (Imphal Free Press), Kh Shanker (Sanaleibak), S Bokuljaoba (The Sangai Express), Kh Naoba (ISTV), Y Okendrajit (Dy365) and L Sanjit (Eikhoigee Panthung) have been elected as standing committee members during the election held at the Manipur Press Club in Imphal on May 1. Altogether 323 out of 333 members cast their votes in the election.