Organ traffickers target Nepal’s poorest

KAVRE, December 29, 2010 (AFP) – Seven years ago, Nepalese farmer Madhab Parajuli faced an agonising choice: lose his small plot of farmland to mounting debts, or sell one of his kidneys to an organ trafficker. “Local people see that you can give up a kidney and still try to live a healthy life. So, a prospective donor leaves the village first to Kathmandu and then to India and comes back with a scar in his side.” In desperation, Parajuli accepted the trafficker’s offer of 100,000 rupees (1,400 dollars) and travelled to India to have the organ removed — a decision he now bitterly regrets.

“I didn’t get paid until we got back to Nepal, and then only around a third of what I’d been promised,” the 36-year-old told AFP in his home village of Jyamdi, around 30 miles (50 kilometres) east of the capital Kathmandu.

“I lost my farm anyway, and if I’d known then what I know now, there’s no way I would have sold my kidney.”

Parajuli, whose family abandoned him after he lost all his property, looks frail and haggard. Now a day labourer, he said he finds heavy work difficult.

“I occasionally feel the pain on the side,” he said, pointing to the six-inch (15 cm) scar on his right side.

Under