On a humid June evening, near a majestic church in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh, a deal was struck. For Rs. 30,000 a poor mother sold her ten-month-old son to a couple who didn't have a child. The deal was signed on a Rs. 10 bond paper. The fine print gave the mother, 25-year- old Yessama, the right to take back her baby if she changed her mind. But she would have to pay Rs. 1.5 lakhs as a penalty for breach of contract.
That was on June 28. A fortnight later, the "buyers" were visited by a woman named Yashoda, who had brokered the transaction. She demanded more money on behalf of the mother for the baby. Arguments and a fight broke out, so the carefully inked deal became public.