Rourkela, Oct 20: 7-year-old boy Khema Munda from Jadakudar village in Odisha's Sundargarh district suffered from cleft lip from birth, but thanks to a public-private model medical intervention project, he now sports a smile on his face.
Hailing from a family of petty farmers who work as daily labourers during lean period for sustenance, Khema also used to suffer from several nasal complications and associated issues.
Besides congenital cleft palate, he was afflicted with recurrent ear infections and fluid accumulation in the inner eardrum.
The financially weak family couldn't even dream of getting expert surgical intervention for him because of the cost factor.
And hence, neither Khema nor his parents ever thought their child would be able to lead a normal life with a normal face and a sparkling smile. With all these complications he was unable to fare well at school and had become an object of "pity and scorn".
The turning point came in Khemas life when he was identified in a multidisciplinary camp organised as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP).
He was referred to Ispat General Hospital of RSP for further treatment. He was brought to IGH and admitted there on September 4, a release from the RSP said.
The project being implemented by RSP in association with Health Department of Government of Odisha under 'Rashtriya Bal Suraksha Karyakram' is transforming the lives of many poor, underprivileged and needy people through a number of initiatives.
After successful medical and surgical interventions, a happy and smiling Khema was released on September 10 along with four other children, who also had undergone similar treatment at IGH for free, it said.
A K Singh, Director In-charge (M&HS) and Sushil Kar, Chief District Medical Officer of Sundargarh were present at the time of discharge of the children and handed over gifts to them.
Under the CSR initiative 'Swawlamban', not only Khema but many children suffering from various disorders like congenital cataract, hearing impairment, cleft lip and palate disorders and claw foot receive medical attention, the release said.