Behind India’s kidney rackets, an acute shortage of organs

The inability of the national organ transplant programme to address the shortfall in donors leaves the field wide open for traffickers.

He called himself Rancho, after the character in the 2009 Hindi film “3 Idiots”. It’s how he explained away his performing dozens of kidney transplants when he only had the qualifications of a lab technician. “I’m not well educated,” he’d say, “but I’m well read and learn fast.”

The police were impressed with Kuldeep Ray Vishwakarma. Inspector Bharat Lal Meena, who arrested him earlier this month, has fond memories of the four days Kuldeep spent in police custody. “Some people have the gift of the gab,” he says. “Kuldeep was one of them.”

He was one of 11 people the …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

Senior Features Writer