Pol Pot period, known as the darkest period of Cambodia, had destroyed the nation to nearly zero point. Within the period, landmines had been laid to kill opponents in war. After 3 years and 8 months gone, there are still millions of unexploded landmines concealed under the land. So who has been responsible for this? After raising this question, people might think of CMAC, Cambodia Mine Action Centre. Unknowingly, there is a person who spent the rest of his life removing landmines in Cambodia. He is AKIRA.
AKIRA, awarded as CNN Hero, is a Cambodia Self Help Demining. He was born in 1970s. Growing in a violent period of Pol Pot, his brain had been programmed to be cruel and heartless. At the age of 4, he witnessed many people stepping on mine and died with shattered body. Holding the gun and taking people life at the age of 10. Undoubtedly, as a young soldier in war period, laying mine and removing them became his skills. However, as he grows up bigger and wiser, he did realize his unforgivable actions done in the past. At the same time of acknowledging his own actions, he spent his lifetime to remove the mines in Cambodia. More than 50 thousands of landmines were cleared to help saving people‘s life. Thousands of unknown victims were rescued because of his sacrificing. More than this, many of disabled adults has been supported by him in term of emotional and economics.
With the effort and time spent on saving people life, he was awarded by an international well-known channel as CNN Hero. In his speech as holding CNN HERO award, he thanked CNN, his babu, and his wife for his achievement today. “One mine, One Life”, his last message before ending the speech.
Adding to digging mine, Akira has accumulated all his mines and stored them in his own landmine museum established in late 1998. The museum is located in midway between the town of Siem Reap and the Angkor Park. Despite many challenges put by local police and governor to shut down the museum, he still tolerates with all harassment and manages to open the museum.
A Perfect Soldier – Full Documentary (2013). [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBXpTbDmbHc
Cambodia – Akira. (n.d.). Retrieved from Tales of Asia: http://www.talesofasia.com/cambodia-akira.htm
Cambodia CNN Hero ( AKIRA) (n.d.). [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cthWBHXNSJk