Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A woman in Louisiana can pee in peace.

I was reading this and remembered in retrospect how a conversation 
I had in 2008 was so surreal. It was with a woman who had sold her kidneys for 
Rs.40,000 to a middle man who would then make sure it was implanted in an American woman.
Yes, true. The details evade me now but it was in a slum on the outskirts of Chennai. It was hot and dusty and we were under pressure to put out a piece for the college Television bulletin that no one watched. The women fussed over my North eastern companion because she is light skinned. We were pointed to the house of the woman who sold her kidneys. There was a DVD Player, a TV and my horrified journalism student mind was thinking, "Damn, the kidneys paid for this." The family was not exceptionally poor by the standards of their community. The woman, lets call her Revati sold the fish that her husband, lets call him Gopal caught. The tsunami had changed their fortunes because they were shifted to apartment buildings far away from the sea. They still got by but the offer of money for kidneys just seemed too lucrative to ignore. And now a woman somewhere in (say) Louisiana can pee in peace. 

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