Assam: Kidney traffickers target poor tea garden workers in Dibrugarh

An incident came to light recently from Dibrugarh where a tea garden worker sold his kidney in exchange for money.


By Avik Chakraborty


Kidney traffickers in Assam are targeting poor tea gardens workers in Dibrugarh, compelling poor families to sell kidneys in exchange for money.

An incident came to light recently from Dibrugarh, where a tea garden worker sold his kidney in exchange for money.

Ramu Karmakar (45) of Singlijan tea estate in Dibrugarh admitted to selling one of his kidneys to an 'agent' for an amount of Rs 3.5 lakh in April.

Describing his story, Karmakar informed that he first met the agent whom he identified as Jibeswar Deka of Guwahati, who forced him to involve in the act.

"Poverty and my helpless condition compelled me to sell my kidney. I first met the agent Jibeswar Deka in Dibrugarh. he (Deka) told me he was looking for a kidney donor and asked if I was interested, stating that he will pay a good amount of money in exchange. Though I refused, the next day he offered me Rs 2 lakh to which I did not agree. He then raised the amount to Rs 3 lakh then to Rs 3.5 lakh. After much thought, I agreed to sell my kidney, as I was in dire need of money," Karmakar said.

Karmakar added that he was taken to Kolkata where he spent six months before undergoing the surgery.

"I have 3 children. My elder daughter works as a domestic worker in Guwahati. My financial condition was not good at that point of time so I decided to sell my kidney," Karmakar said adding that nowadays he feels weak to go to work and his wife is working in the garden.

Sources said that six other families from the same tea estate have gone to Kolkata for the same reason.

It was informed that Kidney traffickers are active in the tea garden areas who somehow manage to convince the people to commit the act.

After the matter came to light, the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) has constituted a high-level committee to investigate the matter.

"Illiteracy and poverty are the two reasons for the exploitation of the tea garden workers, and we have initiated an inquiry," ACMS vice president Nabin Keot said.

Meanwhile, Dibrugarh SP, Shwetank Mishra, informed that the investigation will start after the cases are registered against the traffickers.

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