CNN to air 'Operation Hope'
A seven year old Bangladeshi boy was viciously attacked, castrated and left for dead, allegedly by a criminal gang in Dhaka after he refused to be forced into begging. The latest CNN Freedom Project documentary, 'Operation Hope' chronicles his remarkable journey to recovery against all the odds.
In 2011, CNN senior international correspondent Sara Sidner first reported about the brutal attack on the little boy. American businessman Aram Kovach was so horrified and moved by the boy’s plight when he saw the story on CNN that he offered to help finance a trip to the United States for medical treatment. The much needed reconstructive surgery was unavailable in Bangladesh so the boy – who we’re calling Okkhoy, a Bengali name that means ‘unbreakable’ – was treated at no cost by doctors at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Kovach, along with his wife Branka and business partner Tom Shaver, financed all other expenses including travel and accommodation for the boy and his father.
'Operation Hope' records Okkhoy’s long, complicated path to recovery from a life-threatening experience at a very tender age. While the doctors work towards Okkhoy’s physical recovery, he and his family live in the shadow of fear – Okkhoy is the key witness against the criminal gang accused of leaving him for dead, so the whole family lives in the protective custody of an elite Bangladeshi paramilitary force called Rapid Action Battalion. Will this courageous little boy who already fought off death once, triumph again?
The Freedom Project blog offers resources encouraging viewers worldwide to take a stand against the organized trade in exploitation of children.
'Operation Hope' premieres on Saturday, December 8 at 1500 hrs. The documentary also airs on Sunday, December 9 at 0200 hrs, 0800 hrs and 1600 hrs; Monday December 10 at 0900 hrs.
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