The police in India have cracked open an international kidney transplantation racket in different parts of Maharashtra and arrested four persons. It is also came to know that they have connections with some hospitals in Sri Lanka.
It all started when Santosh Gawli, a worker in Akola, complained that his kidney had been removed at a Colombo hospital, as he was compelled to go to Sri Lanka to sell off his kidney to repay a loan of Rs 20,000 to Anand Jadhav, a moneylender but he had not been paid the promised amount.
The other donors, who were taken to Sri Lanka for the operations, have also filed complaints with the authorities.
As Indian government has strict laws for the transplantation of human organs. The island nation of Sri Lanka is fast emerging as the market for organ trade.
Besides Sri Lanka, Iran and Singapore also perform ‘nonrelated’ transplant procedures.
The rules in India Transplantation of Human Organs Act prohibit a patient from receiving organs from persons other than spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, grandparent or grandchildren.
If violates the rules the punishment includes five years of jail which can be extendable to 10 years and a fine of Rs2 million, which can go up to Rs10 million.
Due to the tough rules the agents have made arrangements with hospitals in India and in these countries to ensure a smooth procedure.
Deepak Sawant Maharashtra’s health minister has set up a committee to probe the role of some hospitals and laboratories in the state in carrying out pre-operation tests on both the donor and the recipient. Sawant will also seek tightening of the central act to curb such malpractices.
Sunayna Singh, CEO, Organ India, part of the Prashar Foundation a Delhi-based NGO said. When payments for the organs take place, or when complications arise after the transplantation either the donor or the recipient has to be treated at Indian hospitals. The annual demand for kidney transplants is estimated to be around 200,000. The problem will persist as long as cadaver donations do not pick up.