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What Did They Do to Deserve This?

Sahitha was born with a cleft lip. Her parents knew it would devastate her entire life.

Her mother, Nirmala, cried as she explained, "I was sad and scared. When I tried to breast-feed her, she choked and cried. And when I fed her with a bottle, the milk often came out of her nose."

"I was worried about her future," remarked her father, Vaikunta. "Would she be able to go to school? Would she ever get married?"

No one was willing to help them in their small village in southern India. Many thought it was a generational curse.

Vaikunta said, "When people saw her they used to say, 'Who knows what sin your forefathers might have committed to make your daughter be born like this.'"

Sahitha's father couldn't pay for a cleft lip operation. He is a barber, but he didn't make enough money to even rent a shop. He spent most of his time going door-to-door looking for customers. Then, CBN found out about Sahitha when she was two and a half months old. We immediately gave her a free cleft lip surgery. Three weeks after the operation, we visited the family.

"We are so happy that she can easily drink milk, and she looks so beautiful," said her mother.

Vaikunta added, "We no longer are worried about her speech, education, or even marriage."

CBN also wanted to help Sahitha's father provide a better life for his wife and daughters, so we gave him a barbershop. All new equipment and supplies were also included. Now he'll get a lot more business, since his customers will come to him.

Vaikunta happily said, "I will make sure that my daughters get good food, clothes, and education. And I will take them to doctors when they get sick. We are indebted to you. You gave my daughter the surgery she desperately needed, and you gave me a shop for my livelihood. Thank you so much!"

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