Poor villagers in Tamil Nadu have been selling their organs in Chennai, the kidneys in particular, for mere rupees 20,000.
There are hundreds of villages around the Kalrayan Hills and Kallakkurichi region in Tamil Nadu's Villupuram District, where human organs are being sold.
These villages include Pillaiyar Kunu, Narayana Kunnu, Eduthuvaanatham, Puthukuttai, Pachara Palalaya and Mann Manal where life is miserable. To earn money everyone heads to Chennai, the State capital, 250 kilometres away.
The common reason cited by villagers for selling their organs is destitution.
"I am a resident of this village. Due to our poor economical conditions, I went to Chennai for work. There I came to know about this kidney selling. One of the brokers took me to a hospital and after taking my kidney, he took Rs.5000, and I was given Rs.20, 000 for that kidney," said Sinnathu Moopar, a villager who sold his kidney.
With that money I was able to fulfil the needs of my family. In this village, lot of people have given their kidneys," Moopar added.
Innocent villagers, unaware of the money involved in the entire kidney trade, settle for a paltry amount offered to them by the middlemen.
"I went to Chennai to work as labour. There they told me that I could sell my kidney for now. Since my family is poor, I sold my kidney. They told me they will give rupees 30,000 but they gave me only rupees 25,000," said Ramayee, another villager who sold off her kidney.
Kidney trade in Tamil Nadu has increased a lot during recent years.
In Chennai, there has hardly been any complaints lodged against the middlemen or doctors or hospitals involved in the kidney racket.
Kidney commerce in Tamil Nadu has increased a lot during recent years. From each village of the Villupuram District are at least 10 persons who have parted with their kidneys and settled for lesser amount than promised.
Despite the State's adaption of Transplantation of Human Organs Act in 1994 that laid down regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs, Chennai continues to be the centre of trade in human organs.
Brokers function in such a way that the names of the hospitals and the doctors involved are never leaked out. Urban slums too have become the target of the kidney wheeler-dealers.