Our Stories

Smile Pinki Update

Catching up with Pinki Sonkar


Varanasi, India — In 2007, Pinki was a frightened little girl in need of free cleft repair surgery. Today, she is confident and loves to show off her smile.

Years after her free surgery and an Oscar® win, Pinki lives a normal life.

Born with a cleft lip to a loving, but poor family, Pink Sonkar spent the first 6 years of her life dreaming that she could one day look like the other children in her village. One day, a social worker from Smile Train partner hospital G.S. Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital came to her village and told her family of Smile Train's free cleft surgery programs. Pinki's remarkable journey to receive cleft surgery was documented in the Oscar®–winning film Smile Pinki. Since her surgery, Pinki has been going to school, making friends, and living the life that her family once thought was impossible.

See more pictures on our Pinki update Facebook gallery.

Recently, Smile Train Program Director of India, Mamtaa Carrol, visited Pinki and her family to see how she is doing and give her big hugs from the entire Smile Train family! Mamtaa reported that Pinki is very happy and is doing quite well in school.

Watch Pinki's interview:

Mamtaa asked Pinki and her family some questions from our Smile Train supporters.

What would you like to be when you grow up? — Loriann L.
Pinki: I would like to be a [community] leader

How many friends do you have? — Mariano C.
Pinki: My closest friends are Amrita, Anuradha Patel & Shivangi

How is school now, Pinki ? — Lisa M.
Pinki: My favorite subject is English!

Pinki's little brother, Lalu, was eager to join in and wants to be a police officer when he grows up. As Pinki said, "He will catch all the robbers and people who do bad things."

Thanks to our amazing partner hospital, generous supporters and hard working team, Pinki is growing up happily and living a normal life.

Haven't seen the film? Order Smile Pinki today!

And be sure to watch this adorable update on Pinki's life from 2011.