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Desperate Bangladeshi mother puts eye on sale

A Bangladeshi woman desperate for money after she was abandoned by her husband has offered to sell one of her eyes.
Shefali, a 26-year-old Bangladeshi woman, carries her daughter in Dhaka
Shefali, a 26-year-old Bangladeshi woman, carries her daughter in Dhaka, April 21. Abandoned by her husband with a daughter and virtually starving with no one to help, Shefali advertised in a newspaper to sell an eye.Rafiqur Rahman / Reuters
/ Source: Reuters

A Bangladeshi woman desperate for money after she was abandoned by her husband has offered to sell one of her eyes.

“I desperately looked for a job to live with my two-and-half-year-old daughter, Meem,” the woman, 26-year-old Shefali Begum, told Reuters on Thursday at her slum dwelling in Dhaka.

“But I could not find any ... and decided to sell one of my eyes. What do I do with both eyes while my daughter will die for want of milk and food?”

Bangladeshi men have been known to advertise their kidneys for sale to generate cash, but Shefali is the first woman in the country known to advertise an eye.

She did not set a price in a newspaper advertisement she placed, but said she hoped to get enough to set up business as a street vendor or toy seller.

Shefali last saw her husband 18 months ago.

“No one has contacted me yet. Maybe they didn’t believe me and thought I was making a sort of fun but I am serious,” she said.

Nearly half of Bangladesh’s more than 130 million people live in poverty, unable to get two meals a day. Abandoned or widowed mothers are at the bottom of the economic heap.

Bangladeshi law prohibits sale of human organ but allows donations to save lives, officials said. Donations outside a family often carried a price tag, they acknowledged.