The Himalayan Times, 25th April 2017, Kathmandu
Kavre has long held the infamous epithet of being the ‘Kidney Bank’ of Nepal, with hundreds of poor villagers from the district duped into selling their kidneys illegally by well-organised organ trafficking syndicates.
Reports say the syndicates are now expanding their tentacles to neighbouring districts.
According to data from the Forum for Protection of People’s Rights, Nepal, around 119 to 178 people from nine VDCs in Kavrepalanchowk district were recorded to have been trafficked to India to harvest their kidneys last year.
Most victims were from Hokse, Sathighar Bhabgati, Anekot, Devbhumi Baluwa, Kavre Nitya Chandeswori, Panchkhal, Phulbari, Jyamdi, and Jaisithok.
“There are more than 300 people in Kavre district who have had their kidneys illegally removed. The traffickers have now even begun taking victims from Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa, Makwanpur, Bardiya, and Gorkha districts,” said Satish Sharma, programme director of Forum for Protection of People’s Rights, Nepal.
“Traffickers take advantage of the poverty and illiteracy of rural people. They keep the victims in the dark throughout the procedure, luring them with the promise of a lot of money. The victims are then left with a life-long medical ailment and paid much less than promised, sometimes not paid at all,” Sharma said.
The traffickers are exploiting the high demand for kidneys and the porous border between Nepal and India. The victims are taken to Indian cities like Chennai, New Delhi, and Chandigadh for the transplant. Travelling to India requires very little paperwork for Nepalis, making it easier for traffickers to exploit the victims.
And it appears that more innocent, poor people will be exploited in future. The government and security personnel have to put concerted efforts on cracking the expanding crime syndicates before they profit from hundreds of more lives.