KERALA

A gruesome tale of kidney business

KOTTAYAM Nov. 13. Rejani, the hapless pregnant woman who was coned into `donating' her kidney by the racket three years back, today came before the media with her tale of big business in human organs. Her story tells how a helpless unfortunate lactating woman was coerced into selling off her kidney, by her `husband' and his relatives, (and if her words are true) ably aided by the doctors, in spite of her repeated pleas to let her unborn child to live.

According to the 27-year-old woman from Kattappana, she was living with one Baburaj, a painter by profession. She had two children in that relationship, a four-year-old daughter and a two-and-a half-year-old son. Life was never easy and it was her sister-in-law who told her that they could try for a role in a music troup in Kozhikode. It was seeking a job that the entire family moved to Kozhikode.

However, the promise of job never materialised and her husband's brother-in-law, Sajeev (whose name appears repeatedly in the kidney racket story), who told them the idea that they could make some quick money by selling her kidney. If her words are to be believed, they were promised Rs. 1.5 lakhs, but she was unwilling.

The relatives put pressure on her and soon coercion took the tone of threats not only by her husband, but also by his sister and her husband and Rejani had to give in. She was admitted to a private nursing home and she does not know under what address. ``It was done by my husband,'' she says.

And a series tests followed. ``I had to sign on a lot of papers which were in English,'' said Rejani, who is a ninth standard drop out. It was during the tests that she was found to be pregnant. ``I pleaded with the lady gynaecologist not to kill my child, but she said since all these tests were already done there was no other way,'' she said.

The pregnancy was terminated and within a month, on May 18, 1999, her kidney was removed. ``The recipient, a person from Ponnani, and his family were good to me and paid for my medicines for the next 10 days after which I was discharged. Since then there had been no medicines,'' Rejani said. She says that one of the doctors (who was in charge of the transplant) had asked her whether the kidney was being donated for money and how much they were offered.

According to the poor woman, she never got a single paise out of the gruesome business. ``There was a quarrel between my husband and his brother-in-law in the hospital regarding the share,'' that is all she knows about the money.

After a few months of the kidney transplant, she was kicked out of her house by her `husband' and today she lives with her parents at Parakkadavu near Kattappana. None of the doctors came to me during the investigations (by the IMA), she said.

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