LAHORE, Pakistan, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Villagers across Pakistan's Punjab Province are selling their kidneys on the black market in an attempt to garner relief from desperate conditions.
Like so many poor villagers in her province, Mehtab Ashraf has begun taking the steps to sell her kidney in an attempt to gain a one-time fee that could help feed her five children, the Chicago Tribune said Sunday.
"I have sent my blood for tests," the 35-year-old mother said. "I will sell off my kidney, and then, maybe, one or two of my children can be free."
The practice has become common-place throughout much of the province and any attempts to limit the trade have been met with failure.
Critics have blamed such legal failures on corruption in the country's medical and governmental communities.
Meanwhile people like Ashraf are selling their kidneys, sometimes for less than $1,700, and their relatives are forced to watch them offer up their bodies for a fleeting bit of hope.
"When you have nothing, when you live like slaves, you want some kind of life, even at the cost of a kidney," Ashraf's cousin, Manzoor Ahmad, told the Tribune.