Tuesday, 17 November 2015


"Revealed: Nepalese village where almost everyone sold their kidneys to 'organ traffickers' to buy a house... only for them to be destroyed by devastating earthquake"
"A mother has told how she sold a kidney to buy her family a house – only for it to be destroyed in the Nepal earthquake.
Geeta lives in Hokse, Nepal – nicknamed 'Kidney Village' – because almost all of the people living there have sold their kidneys to organ traffickers.
Convinced to sell one of her vital organs for just £1,300 by her sister-in-law, Geeta, 37, travelled to India have the kidney removed.
She spent some of money on buying a plot of land in Hokse – 12 miles east of Kathmandu – and used the rest to build a stone house.
But the mother-of-four is homeless after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake reduced it to rubble.

Now Geeta and her young children are living in a shack crudely erected with the use of food bags and tarpaulin for walls and a rook made with sheets of corrugated iron.
Her dream of owning a home in ruins, she said: 'My sister-in-law talked me into selling my kidney and said that my body only needed one. My sister stole my kidney and the earthquake stole my house.'
But Geeta is not alone. Most of the adult men and women living in Hokse have been tempted to cash in and sell one of their healthy kidneys to so-called 'organ brokers' in Nepal.
The smooth-taking body parts traffickers regularly visit Hokse and surrounding cash-strapped villages in the Kavrepalanchowk District and attempt to persuade those living there to have operations in southern India, where organ trading is big business.
They use a number of tricks and tactics to coerce victims into parting with vital organs. One of them is to play on their naivety - and tell them that the body part will grow back.
That was the trick used to dupe Geeta, which finally persuaded her to go ahead with the operation.
'For ten years people came to our village trying to convince us to sell our kidneys but I always said no,' she said.
But swayed by her desire to provide a house and land for her growing family, she eventually went with her husband's sister to India.
'I have always wanted my own house and a piece of land, and with more children, I really needed it,' Geeta explained.
The operation took just half an hour, but she remained in hospital for three weeks.
'When I woke up after the operation I felt like nothing had happen and I was surprised that it was already done,' she said.
'I was then paid 200,000 Nepalese rupees (£1,300) for my kidney and went home to my village to buy my own house and some land,' she went on, describing many Nepalese people's dream of owning their own home.
But her dream turned to rubble on April 25 when a deadly earthquake tore through the country, killing 8,800 and injuring at least 23,000.
For Geeta, her husband, who also sold a kidney and the rest of 'Kidney Village' the disaster has also meant that they are homeless – and they have put their health on the line for nothing.
Depressed, a number of residents there have turned to alcohol to drown their sorrows, as their health slowly deteriorates.
And since the earthquake, the number of desperate for money Nepalese turning to organ farms as a source of income has increased.
The booming trade has turned the country into a 'kidney bank', which medical experts predict the number of people in the country doing it is likely to double in the coming years.
This illegal trade has risen to such a level that an estimated 10,000 black-market operations involving purchased human organs now take place annually – more than one every hour – according to the World Health Organisation.
Up to 7,000 kidneys are obtained illegally every year, according to a report by Global Financial Integrity.
That same report shows the illegal organ trade generates profits of up to £650million a year.
Organ trafficking operates in various ways. Victims can be kidnapped and forced to give up an organ; some, out of financial desperation, agree to sell an organ; or they are duped into believing they need an operation and the organ is removed without their knowledge.
Some victims are murdered to order if a large sum has been paid in advance.
Few hospitals in Nepal perform kidney transplants. And even the doctors in Nepal know most well-heeled patients prefer to go across the border to India.
'They want better services, they want Indian doctors. That's why they go to the hospitals in India,' said Dr. Rishi Kumar Kafle, Director of the National Kidney Center.
Children, especially those from poor backgrounds or children with disabilities, are often targeted.
In May 2013 eight-year-old British schoolgirl Gurkiren Kaur Loyal died at a clinic in India, and her family say they suspect she was 'murdered' by medics intent on harvesting her organs.
Once 'harvested' at hospitals in southern India, the organs are then sold on to wealthy recipients for six times what the donor receives.
Laxman Lamichhane, a lawyer and programme coordinator at the Nepalese NGO, Forum for Protection of People's Rights Nepal (PPR Nepal), said: 'People are feeling insecurity and fear in the places they are living now despite of the regular monitoring of security forces.
'They have to encounter so many new faces in day-to-day life. Some have been identified as human traffickers who are deliberately trying to lure people to good jobs and a better life in foreign countries like in India and abroad.'
Selling kidneys often causes people in Nepal to be shunned and avoided in their communities, found a report by the Forum for the Protection of People's Rights (PPR), Nepal.
Krishna Pyari Nakarmi, a lawyer at PPR Nepal working with kidney trafficking victims, said: 'When back in the villages, people who have been tricked into selling their kidneys often become the talk of the town in their communities and are subjects of widespread gossip.
In several cases they are dismissed from the communities because selling a kidney is considered to be unacceptable.
'Even their children are discriminated at school. That leads them to drink because they are frustrated and depressed.'
Some kidney donors are reportedly being paid as little as £160 by brokers, who then charge the recipient £6,500.
In 2007, the Nepalese government passed a law banning the sale of kidneys.
Trafficking has so far been isolated to certain areas in Nepal like the Kavrepalanchowk District, but it is feared the trend could spread following the earthquake.

Culled from DailyMail online

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