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Smiling to life/ free oral and dental services by Alborz dentist committee in Karaj
It is a cold morning. Mothers are standing in line with their children. They are located in a school in Chahar Hesar of Karaj which is a dangerous area in suburbs of Karaj. A place that has sheltered illegal people whom are left outside society. Mehrafarin office is located in this area. The consolers must drive in this area with their personal cars since there is nothing known as “security” even at daytime. But women and children live in this area.
The door of dentists’ room opens and a boy is running out crying. He might be seven or eight years old. His mother and an older man are trying to calm him down but he is scared of dentists. Mothers are laughing and children are shocked. Dentist assistant asks for the next patient to walk in. This group is from Iran Dentist committee, Alobrz city, that cure children in Karaj, for free.
Dr. Alireza Eshaghi that is trying to calm down kids in the room explains: considering dental and oral hygiene, these children are not in a proper situation. There are cases that clearly we can observe that hey take care of their teeth, but they are very weak and thin. Considering age of children, they need extra care.
Most of them are at the age of losing their milk teeth. We try to keep them though because of infections, we sometimes fail to do so.
Due to reports of dentists, after checkups we fill in forms for each person: we do whatever we can here and for further treatments they are referred to clinics. The common problem of these children is tooth decay which is fixed.
Outside the room, dentist assistant distributes packages including: mouthwash, toothpaste for children, toothbrush and Biodent chewing gums.
Based on dentists’ ideas, Biodent chewing gums are sugar free which is not harmful for their teeth.
All of the expenses are afforded by Biodent Company and dentists ae doing it as a charity act, receiving no payment. Children and women are added to group; an old woman walks in holding a little girl’s hand.
She is Melika’s grandmother. When she was just a baby her mother left her and her family. Thus her grandma doesn’t say that Melika’s father is addicted to drugs. The consoler says that and continues: Melika has to wander in streets with her father. He plays and sings and Melika accompanies her by dancing. That’s how they earn money. Mehrafarin has tried its best to ban the baby from working and send her to school.
Another woman arrives with three children. They look great with beautiful blue eyes. The baby whom the mother hugs has his hand in bandages. Her mother says it’s burned. When I went to people houses to work and children were alone, neighbor comes and take Yashar to their home, without asking permission. Yashar hand burns there with hot iron. And when we ask: how could you leave a 10-month-old baby alone? She replies: Yokabed takes care of him.
Her older daughter, Yokabed, is seven years old. Like a mature lady, she is holding Yashar’s hand. He is wearing shoes too small for him, with no sucks.
Consoler says that his shoes are too small for him. It is supposed that they go to storehouse and find proper shoes for them. Mother and her little baby stay and two other kids come with us. No argue. No strange feelings, they are independent kids.
When they try two pair of shoes and they fit right in, Yokabed takes the old shoes and wear the new ones. She has learned to value everything, even old shoes.
She has grown up in her childhood, she turned into a mother and has painful eyes of a mid-age woman.
But we can observe something in her childish eyes, something we barely observe in eyes of rich children: endurance.