Pritika first became involved with Operation Smile in her early teens, volunteering for the local chapter in her hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her passion for the cause only grew with time. Pritika understood the challenges that craniofacial conditions create; not just the physical ramifications, including difficulty eating, speaking, and breathing, but the emotional and social impacts as well. Young children can be bullied, isolated, and socially neglected, resulting in lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. The free surgical procedures administered by Operation Smile change the course of the lives of these children.
Through nearly four decades of experience, and over 300,000 procedures, Operation Smile knows that cleft surgery offers optimism and hope at any age. The organization exists so a child or parent never has to feel alone — it brings families renewed hope through free procedures and comprehensive care.
While one cleft surgery can bring immediate transformation to a child's life in as little as 45 minutes, Operation Smile is committed to providing patients with health that lasts — being there to offer additional surgeries, dentistry, psychological services, speech therapy and other essential cleft treatments. Operation Smile improves the health and dignity of people with cleft lip and cleft palate, helping them to better breathe, eat, speak and live a better quality of life in greater confidence.