Oscar Winning Documentary Medico Elected APSI President

Varanasi: A globally-known cleft and plastic surgeon of Kashi (Varanasi), Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh, who featured in an Oscar Award winning documentary –‘Smile Pinki’, has been elected the vice president (president elect) of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, the highly select group of super specialists, ai its recently held 57th annual conference. He will be vice president in 2024 and the president in 2025.

Kashi, the land of the great surgeon Sushruta, who had propounded plastic surgery 2600 years ago, is today considered as the ‘Cleft Capital of the World’ for doing the highest number of cleft surgeries. This city has a special place in the field of plastic surgery.

The presidentship of the APSI has come to Kashi for the 3rd time in last 65 years. Earlier, Prof. JK Sinha and Prof. V Bhattacharya, both his teachers, were elected president of the APSI in 1991 and 2008 respectively.

Dr. Subodh is known world over for his philanthropy and his mission of cleft surgery. His hospital has done the highest number of free cleft surgeries in the world. Because of his efforts Varanasi is considered as the ‘Cleft Capital of the World’. He and his colleagues together do 13% of all cleft surgeries done in India. Till now, he has done the maximum number of 41000 free cleft surgeries in the world with his team. He has made a special contribution in the treatment of cleft lip and cleft palate patients in India by encouraging, helping or training hundreds of cleft surgeons in cleft surgery.

His work was recognized long ago when Megan Mylan made the documentary on his work -“Smile Pinki” that won an Oscar Award in 2009. It became the most popular medical documentary in the world and brought an unprecedented awareness about cleft and patients’ sufferings from cleft of the lip and palate. Another documentary made on his burn patients work, “Burn Girl Ragini” became National Geographic Editor’s choice video and became viral in India, US and many other countries. It received AIB AWARD and Davey’s Gold award.

Dr Subodh comes from a very modest family, and he had lost his father at the age of 13 years. He faced hardship in his childhood but continued to do well in his studies. He was educated in the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, where he did his MBBS, MS and MCh in plastic surgery. He is also a Diplomate of the National Board in Plastic Surgery.

He is known as a principled hard-working doctor and a gifted surgeon who goes out of his way to save and serve his patients. He also takes keen interest in social drives for plantation and to minimize pollution. He is a good photographer and a writer. He also did pioneering basic research in cleft genetics. He has already been the president of Indian Society of Cleft Lip Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies.


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