December 10th, 2012
11:28 AM ET

Operation Hope: Watch the documentary in full

"Operation Hope", the incredible story of the Bangladeshi boy mutilated by a begging gang and the strangers who came to his aid, has been read millions of  times since it was published last week. Now you can watch the whole of the CNN International documentary which is linked in three parts here.

Topics: Uncategorized
December 7th, 2012
12:14 AM ET

How one e-mail changed a little boy's life

Editor's note: "Operation Hope" will air on CNN International on Saturday, December 8 at 0900 GMT and 2000 GMT. It will also air Sunday, December 9 at 0200 GMT and 1000 GMT; and Monday, December 10 at 0300 GMT. Once it has aired you will be able to watch it in full on this page.

(CNN) – It was a short e-mail - a few simple lines. It appeared in my inbox on May 12, 2011. It had been forwarded several times until it found its way to me.

"I saw a story on CNN a few days ago and can't seem to get it out of my head," wrote American businessman Aram Kovach. "I want to somehow help this little boy."

Click here to find out how you can help

He was referring to a Freedom Project report that aired on CNN a few days earlier. The story, filed by Senior International Correspondent Sara Sidner, was about a 7-year-old boy from Bangladesh who had been savagely attacked and mutilated by a gang that routinely kidnapped poor children and forced them into the streets of the capital, Dhaka, to beg for money, which they would then keep for themselves. FULL POST

December 6th, 2012
09:36 PM ET

Operation Hope: How you can help

We have had huge interest in the incredible story of Okkhoy, the seven-year-old boy from Bangladesh who was mutilated by a gang of men because he refused to beg for them - and his subsequent surgery and recovery in the U.S.

Many among our audience asked what they could do to help.

There is no formal helpline set up to assist the family. But Aram Kovach, the businessman who helped bring Okkhoy to the U.S., has launched a fundraising site called Donate and Help to finance trips for other children who need life-changing medical treatment.

The wider issue behind Okkhoy's story is how to eradicate the practice of forced begging. Among the organizations involved in this work in Bangladesh and elsewhere are Save the Children and UNICEF.

You can also donate to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where Okkhoy had his surgery.

Thank you to everyone for your comments and interest in Okkhoy.

Topics: How to Help
A terrible lesson to learn
December 6th, 2012
01:29 AM ET

A terrible lesson to learn

Editor's note:  "Operation Hope" will air on CNN International on Saturday, December 8 at 0900 GMT and 2000 GMT. It will also air Sunday, December 9 at 0200 GMT and 1000 GMT; and Monday, December 10 at 0300 GMT.

(CNN) – It was the first lesson a taxi driver tried to teach me when I moved to India.

A woman cloaked in dirt-stained sari holding a child with a bandaged and blood-soaked hand knocked on the taxi window. She pointed to the child and held out her hand for money.

Filled with a combination of sadness, guilt and responsibility I began to roll down my window. “No madam!” my taxi driver implored. “This is very bad,” he continued, shaking his head ever so slightly. FULL POST

'Operation Hope' for maimed boy
December 6th, 2012
01:10 AM ET

From horror to hope: A boy's remarkable recovery from brutal attack

Now you can watch the whole of "Operation Hope", the documentary charting the amazing story of Okkhoy and the strangers who worked to help him change his life. See the video in three parts here

(CNN) - "You cannot die! You cannot die!" the father mumbles to the bloodied, mutilated boy who lies unconscious on his lap.

His hands press down on the boy's slashed-open stomach to keep the insides from spilling out. He sobs convulsively. "Listen to me! You cannot die!" he repeats his morbid mantra. "If for nothing else, to exact justice."

The two are on a rickshaw headed to a hospital in Dhaka. It's not the most effective way to transport a dying child through the cramped, congested streets of the Bangladeshi capital. But it's all that the impoverished father can afford. Hours earlier, four men had surrounded the 7-year-old boy, bound his hands and feet and cracked open his head with a brick. They held him down and took a switchblade to his throat. They sliced his chest and belly in an upside down cross. And in a final brutal act, they hacked him sideways, chopping off his penis and his right testicle.

Click here to find out how you can help

"It's amazing that he lived," a doctor would later say. "I'm really surprised he didn't bleed to death prior to getting to the hospital."

This is the story of a boy who not only survived, but is now the key witness in a trial that has forced Bangladesh to confront the cruel but overlooked practice of forced begging. It is also the story of strangers, half a world away, who set out to show the boy that good exists in equal measure as evil - and who set off a chain reaction of kindness to make him whole again.

FULL STORY