Often in life, you would have heard the phrase “What breaks you is what makes you” and the same holds true in the case of Dr. Subodh Singh, who has now made a name for himself after battling all the hurdles and hardships of life. By performing 37,000 cleft lip surgeries and giving back happiness to over 25,000 families under his ‘Smile Train Project’, Dr. Singh has indeed been a boon to these people.
Singh, a studious student who lost his father in 1979 due to inadequate medical treatment, had a deep imprint of this unfortunate incident on his life. Immediately after the sad demise of his father, the burden to feed the family fell on Subodh and his elder brother. Following this, they took every odd job. He even started selling homemade soaps and on the other hand, his elder brother started working in Railways. Despite all the hard work put together by them, the collective amount was not enough to run the family. But Subodh, from a very young age, had the zeal to do something big and this is why he never gave up on any circumstances. His brother supported him and with his first bonus of ₹579, he helped Subodh in paying his fees for medical entrance preparations.
This was a kind of moment that made Subodh realize that he should keep on his fight with the circumstances and he decided that he will not et his brothers’ sacrifices go in vain. He started working hard and eventually cleared not one but three medical entrance exams that included the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC-Pune), BHU-PMT, and UP state Combined Pre-Medical Test (CPMT) in 1983. It was now time for him to make up his mind regarding which one to select and proceed further. Subodh, after calculating every pros and con and analyzing the best interest for himself and his family, opted for BHU so he could help his widowed mother and brothers run a general store. As they say “Luck favors the brave”, Subodh achieved what he dreamt of.
Dr. Singh, to pay a befitting tribute to his father on his death anniversary in 2002, kickstarted a free treatment drive. He has been helping the poor and the weaker sections of the societies by performing cleft lip surgery. For those who do not understand what Cleft Lip Surgery is about, it is about treating Cleft palate which is a common birth condition and can occur alone or as part of a genetic condition/syndrome. The symptoms arise from the opening in the mouth that causes difficulty in speaking and eating. As of now, Dr, Subodh Singh has performed more than 7,000 cleft lip surgeries and for his service to the poor, he has earned himself wide recognition. Dr. Singh was among celebrated guests at the 2009 Academy Awards and the central court for the 2013 Wimbledon Men Singles Final.
Talking about his noble services and his motivation, Dr. Subodh Singh says “In every cleft child who has come to me, I have visualized that little Subodh, who lost his father when he was only 13. My father Gyan Singh and mother Giriraj Kumari (she died last year) taught me to serve the poor and live ethically. I feel God made me a plastic surgeon and not a businessman to serve a divine cause.”
Dr. Subodh Singh, in today’s time, is really a boon for numerous people and is an inspiration for the upcoming generations.