Rishav’s home is located in the beautiful, hilly region of Terai, in northern India and southern Nepal. One day Rishav was out in his community and noticed a group of young people running and playing near his home and he joined in the fun. He explains that this was his moment of obligation. “We were all laughing and I couldn’t help but notice the state of their teeth. I asked a few of them about it and quickly realized oral awareness was lacking and oral health was necessary.” Rishav explained that Terai is especially vulnerable to oral disease because farmers use and grow tobacco and have little access to oral health education. Rishav knew he could help these students, and created, “Project SMILE”.
Rishav’s program is simple but overwhelmingly needed. “I discovered that students were not aware of the proper hygiene practices and the harmful effects that tobacco consumption has on their health. We simply give them tips about cleaning their teeth and supply them with products and tutorials to help them learn to do it themselves. We can actually see the change in the students' smiles right after the program ends.”
“Project SMILE”, is moving towards an even brighter future. He sees his program expanding into Nepal and India to impact even more communities. It is his goal to ensure all students have strong teeth and bright smiles-- no matter where they live.
Rishav believes a peacemaker is anyone who tries to make someone's life better, no matter how small the gesture. He says, “if you can make a positive impact on even just a few people’s lives, then you’re peacemaker.” He understands that taking care of your smile has to begin at an early age, to create strong hygiene practices. Young people are powerful because they have the enthusiasm to do the work. If you have passion and a little patience, you can definitely make an impact.” Rishav is a peacemaker impacting the health of children in his community! Now that's definitely something to smile about.