Twenty years ago, Hashmot Ali was working as a fisherman in the mangrove forests of Bangladesh when he was brutally attacked by a tiger. It was common for Hashmot to venture into the forest for weeks at a time, so this fishing trip with a group of his friends wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.
While asleep in a drifting boat on the canal, he awoke to being viciously attacked by a tiger. In one fail swoop, the wild creature had managed to rip part of his face off.
Doubling up in pain and unable to see, he barely could grasp the idea that he had been attacked by a tiger. His friends managed to scare the tiger away. But he wasn’t by any means safe yet.
His friends has to row for six hours in order to get him the medical assistance he so desperately needed. Once they reached landed, they drove him to a hospital but there wasn’t much that could be done for him except wrap his face in a bandage and send him home.
Eager to support himself, he eventually returned to the very same forests where the attack occurred. Now at age 40, Hashmot has married and has a family to support by selling fish in the village.
He is now reaching out to the community for financial assistance in hopes he will be able to have plastic surgery to reconstruct part of his face. He hopes by doing so, he will be able to help find his daughter a proper groom without being shunned by the villagers, who have a superstition about “tiger widows.”
Because he has been shunned for so long, he hopes the plastic surgery will help him feel more connected to his community and give him a second chance at life.