On February 9, an Air India flight brought from Kathmandu to Delhi one of India's most wanted Amit Kumar alias Santosh Raut. From his non-descript nursing home in Gurgaon, Haryana, Kumar allegedly ran a multi-crore rupee business duping--or forcing--poor labourers into donating kidneys, till his luck ran out after weeks of media outcry.
He is in judicial custody now. Organ donation is front-page, prime-time news.
Organ scams are nothing new. Each time a case blows up, the media goes into overdrive. Sordid stories get splashed over the print and run through the day on 24-hour TV news channels. Each scandal is a gory reminder of the ease with which the bodies of the poor and the vulnerable can be cannibalized. Each expos also betrays a terrible discordance between the demand for organs and the paucity of their supply.
How do organ racketeers flourish? Is the country's organ transplant act adequate? Or is it a question of enforcement? Is the medical establishment complicit in this sordid business?
nidhi jamwal explored the underbelly of healthcare in India. She ran into a system that is least geared to steer clear of the most straightforward solution organ transplant from cadavers