Selling a kidney to end poverty

The surgery was mandatory for him to keep his job, so he sold his kidney to pay for the procedure.

Sehrish Wasif December 29, 2011
The government's bold claims of eliminating poverty from the country are clearly derailed by the dismal state of the public health institutions. It seems that the government has found an innovative system to kill poverty by killing the poor themselves.

Meanwhile, the increasing sky-rocketing inflation has also limited the common man’s access to basic health, as a large majority cannot even afford the transport expenses.

In fact, this differential between the haves and have-nots is at an all-time high. It was clearly depicted recently when our president went to Dubai for his medical treatment which costs lakhs of rupees per day.

I cannot forget a poor man whom I met at the reception of my office. He was from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and he needed an eye operation, but due to severe poverty, he could not afford it. The last option he was left with was to sell his kidney to pay for the operation. Alas, he did not have enough to afford something to eat or a shelter to sleep in. When I asked him if he had eaten something, he said ‘yes from a langar’, and burst into tears.

He told me that he sleeps outdoors on a bench in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) and when it rains he tries to search for a shelter to protect himself from pouring water.

This story is amongst the many I come across every day. It is hard not to feel pity for them when they plead in front of me to get their news published so that it could reach the ears of the prime minister or the president who could help them financially.

What these innocent people don’t realise is that, in fact, these very people are behind the miseries they are facing.

I remember once writing an article on an 18-year-old boy from Peshawar, suffering from blood cancer and seeking financial support for treatment. Luckily many privileged people came forward to help him and he also received donations from the PM House through the Baitul Mal. However, the major difference between both was that the common people wanted their name to remain secret, but I got several calls from the PM House who wanted me to highlight the favour granted by them to this poor soul.

It seems like for the Pakistani government ‘Health is not Wealth’.
Sehrish Wasif
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Asad Zia Hassan | 12 years ago | Reply Your approach in this brief article is somewhat simplistic I must say. Poverty is not a pleasant sight ever and for someone who cares such encounters become unbearable. Your piece reflects the pain that you feel when seeing people in such misery but there is a problem. Pakistan is a developing country. A country that is unable to feed its people. Pointing a finger at the politicians is in my opinion finding scapegoats. The real culprit is the system. On a planet that produces enough food for every creature there is, it is a disgrace that people should live in such despicable poverty. What really needs to change is the system. You must know Helder Camara's quote who says "When I feed the poor they call me a saint but when I ask why poor have no food they call me a communist." That is where the problem lies but I am in no way trying to suggest that we should wait for the revolution and let people die in their thousands until that happens. We must seek reforms, reforms that have helped keep Western societies together since the advent of Karl Marx and Marxist thought. Pakistani people must speak out for their rights. Pakistan may be a developing country unable to feed its people twice a day but can certainly ensure they get fed once a day at least. Put a campaign together and millions of people will get behind you. Make a difference.
the Tiffany & best quality | 12 years ago | Reply How pathetic it will become. I hope the situation will get more public attention and have the current government to reconsider their policy-making process. The most terrible should be a party unable to hear what the people need. cheap bracelets discount
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