Daimler supports handicapped children in India


Stuttgart/Mumbai, Germany/India, Oct 27, 2008

* Donation of €50,000 to Deutsche Cleft-Kinder-Hilfe e.V. for the treatment of children with cleft lips, palates or jaws

* Support makes operations possible for 250 children

Daimler is supporting the Cleft Center that opened in Mumbai this spring with a donation of €50,000. The clinic performs operations and subsequent medical checkups on children with cleft lips, palates or jaws.

At the Mercedes-Benz Sales and Service Center in Stuttgart today Prof Bharat Balasubramanian, Director of Group Research & Advanced Engineering at Daimler AG, presented a check for that amount to Heinz Lübbe, President of Deutsche Cleft-Kinder-Hilfe e.V. This association works worldwide to improve conditions for children and teenagers who suffer from cleft lips, palates and jaws. The financial support from Daimler AG will make operations possible for 250 children in the Mumbai Cleft Center.

India is one of the countries in which this deformity occurs most often due to the high number of births there. Approximately 32,000 people are born with cleft lips, palates and jaws each year, due to hereditary causes, the mother’s lack of vitamins or poor nutrition, insufficient health care and environmental pollution (dioxins).
Children born with this disability and not treated appropriately are not only often destined to be social outcasts their entire lives, but they also have significant problems with eating, drinking, hearing and speaking.

In order to improve the living situation of the affected children and their families, the Deutsche Cleft-Kinder-Hilfe association was founded in 2002. There are already eight cleft centers in India, in which operations are performed on 2,000 children and teenagers each year. The comprehensive, free treatment also includes subsequent medical checkups, speech therapy, social advice, and accommodation, as well as transport costs for the children and their families, who are often destitute.

Daimler has had a car plant in India since 1995, and participates in joint ventures for the production of trucks and buses. It is also involved in society in general. For example, Mercedes-Benz India promotes traffic training for children in the context of the “MobileKids” program and provides young people with apprenticeships in mechatronics at the Pune plant.

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