The Border Security Force (BSF) has taken up the onerous task of bringing smiles to the children living in the Indo-Bangla border areas with cleft lips and palates by doing surgeries free of cost, a senior BSF officer said here today.
"So, far 252 people including children and elderly people were operated on their mouths in the border areas of Tripura, Meghalaya, and West Bengal in last one and half years and one surgery normally costs Rs 50,000," BSF DIG, B S Rawat said.
The BSF had collaborated with an US-based NGO, Smile Train international of New York, which bear the entire cost of surgery.
Director General BSF, Subhash Joshi had launched the first programme in January last year in Kolkata and after that many such camps were held in the border areas.
Lok Sabha MP, Jitendra Chowdhury had inaugurated the 5th medical camp for conducting surgeries on 13 children at Salbaga, the head-quarters of BSF, Tripura frontiers on Friday last.
Special DG of BSF, B D Sharma on that occasion said, cleft lips and palates is a birth problem, but a life can be changed with a surgery.
Sharma said, there are many children with cleft lips and palates on the other side of the border.
"We have put forward a proposal to organise similar medical camps in the bordering areas of Bangladesh. DG of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed accepted our proposal with delight. Camps would be organised in the other side of the border in near future," he added.
Sharma also said, "we want cordial relations with Bangladesh and BGB. Relation can be improved by mutual cooperation."