The Great Indian Kidney Racket
A victims account of the most lucrative global enterprise.
Every time someone goes missing we hear the theory that they have been victims of organ trafficking. Sure, I’ve seen some research here and there but thought no way it’s as prominent as the web sleuths make it out to be… well I finally fell down the rabbit hole. And I apologize. Friends, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s real and it’s worse than you’d ever dream. It’s been called the most lucrative global enterprise, generating between $500 million to 1 billion US dollars annually, not that we’d ever have a solid, truthful amount. In particular, roughly 7000 kidneys are illegally acquired every year, often from poor, voiceless populations. Over In Mumbai, India, Sundar Jatav was coerced into selling his kidney and in turn, he ended up exposing a major kidney trafficking network based inside of a highly prestigious Indian hospital. Today we’re talking about the infamous Great Indian Kidney Racket.
It’s been 7 years since Sundar Singh Jatav left his northern Indian village to relocate to the bustling city of Mumbai. For years after the move, he was struggling to make ends meet in a cashiering position at a video game shop. There, he made $2.50 USD daily, when the whole point of the move was to make enough money to help his family back home out of debt. That $2.50 wasn’t going to cut it, not in 2015.
Sundar’s life flipped upside down when his boss introduced him to a man who promised to solve all of his financial problems. He had no reason not to listen and what he heard blew his mind. He was asked to sell his kidney and the price tag was enough to convince him. He didn’t have to live on the floor in the corner of the video game shop anymore. He didn’t have to worry about his family surviving back home. To Sundar it was a no brainer.
In India particularly, the government has taken immense measures to reduce the chances that money is being exchanged for medical procedures. More specifically, organ implantations, which are an act illegal in India and almost everywhere else for over 20 years. India made it mandatory for a committee of government officials and doctors to approve every single organ donation in the country — all in an effort to stop the exploitation of the poor and to ensure that the…