In a country like India, where there are approximately 1 million cleft deformity patients who have never really received any form of treatment, Mission Smile has taken an active step towards helping the situation with over 35,000 surgeries and 45,000 medical examinations in a mere span of 16 years. Bringing smiles is the sole motto of Mission Smile. The organization, led by a team of dynamic trustees facilitates free life-changing surgeries for patients suffering from deformities of the cleft. Due to its remarkable efforts in the field, the organization was honoured with the ‘Social Impact Award’ by the Government of Assam for their social service in the field.
In 2016, Mission Smile approached popular singer and musician- Papon (Angaraag Mahanta) to become its brand ambassador with a view to creating greater awareness regarding cleft lip/ palate and its treatment across the state of Assam and the country as a whole. Papon not only has an overwhelming voice, but also a disarming and amicable personality. He is a comparatively simple down-to-earth person and hence, it is only natural that listeners connect better with him since they feel that he is someone they know well. Papon personally believes that each one of us needs to contribute in some way or the other to make this world a better place to live in. Hence, he readily accepted the opportunity offered by Mission Smile and also attended the concluding day of the 13th Guwahati International Mission soon after to interact with the patients and surgeons in attendance.
During the six-day mission that year alone, more than 144 surgeries were conducted and around 216 patients were screened at the Guwahati Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre. According to various onlookers and authorities present at the event, Papon was extremely happy to be associated with the mission and even spoke about the importance of cleft care and its treatment with regards to both- children as well as adults. He not only appreciated the efforts of the organization on-stage but also spent time with the team and beneficiaries later. He said that it was a wonderful event and that the centre was quite organized. He also added that it was a great learning experience for him as well and he would like to attend more such events often.
In 2018, on completing two successful years of being the brand ambassador of Mission Smile, Papon was quoted saying,” In the last 2 years with you guys, I got to witness so many smiles you brought back to this world! Thank you for making me a part of this supreme service! I salute all the volunteers across the globe who bring so many smiles to life every single day.” Mission Smile further acknowledged Papon’s kind words and thanked him for being there for them throughout their journey of a ‘Cleft-free India’.
Such is the personality of our beloved Papon and this is the exact reason why he is appreciated and loved by masses not only nationally, but at an international level too. He believes that with every helping hand and a compassionate heart, we are paving ways to improve our society as a whole.