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Kidney brokers woo tsunami-hit women
January 14, 2007 20:32 IST
Several poverty-striken fisherwomen in Chennai have resorted to selling their kidneys to eke out a living after being affected by the tsunami two years ago, prompting the Tamil Nadu government to order a probe.
These women were offered up to Rs one lakh for their kidneys by 'organ brokers,' who took them to far-off places like Madurai to perform surgeries to remove the organs, official sources in Chennai said.
Sometimes, the donors were not paid even half the amount offered and often ended up perennially ill after not taking proper post-surgery care, they said.
After several such incidents came to light, the Tamil Nadu government ordered a probe into the matter by Ponnery's Revenue Divisional Officer M S Sangeetha.
Some donors told Sangeetha that they went ahead with the sale of kidneys as they had no other means for survival. Besides the brokers, some wig exporters were in touch with them for purchasing their hair, they told her.
Official sources said the government might order a full-scale probe after it got the report from the RDO. "Stern action is being contemplated against hospitals and brokers indulging in illegal organ trade," a source said.
For 18-year old Kalpana, mother of two, selling her kidney was the only option left to save her marriage, after her husband stopped going to the sea and took to drinking after the giant waves hit the coast on December 26, 2004.
But her woes were unending even after selling her kidney for Rs 7,5000, as her husband pocketed all the money and threw her out of their temporary shelter at Tsunami Nagar at nearby Eranavur.
Her mother Saroja, unable to bear the torture, brought Kalpana to her home, but feels the future of her daughter was very bleak."He not only drank for all the money, but also beat her and drove her out of the home. It is quite common among our menfolk to get remarried after driving their wives out. I do not want such a thing happen to my daughter," Saroja said.