A team from The Children's Hospital at Westmead is in India this week to help children run — some for the first time.
They will achieve this by performing surgery and rehabilitation on 60 children with limb deformities at a hospital on loan from tea company Goodricke to charitable organisation Howrah South Point.
"The children we treat have predominantly neglected club feet," said The Children's Hospital at Westmead's senior staff specialist of orthopaedics, Dr Matthias Axt, who is leading the nine-day aid trip.
"I can change their future, I think, completely."
He spoke of Roy, 9, who he treated in 2006.
"He can now jump and run and wants to study at university and he now can," Dr Axt said.
He will be joined on his fourth visit to Chalsa by 10 Australians and a German surgeon.
"There are about four million children in India with neglected club feet," Dr Axt said.
Also called talipes equinovarus, the congenital birth defect occurs in about one out of 750 births and causes one or both feet to turn inward and downward.
"These children are in pain and the girls can't get married [because of the humiliation]," said Dr Axt, whose father was an orthopaedic surgeon.
"I am aware with the skills I have, which I give for free, I can change the direction of a young person's life."
After bony or soft tissue correction, the feet are stabilised with K-wires and long leg plasters are applied for six weeks.
Their visit has been sponsored by Pro-Interplast Germany and Rotary program director Rob Wilkinson.