"During an inquiry by the revenue divisional officer, we found about 35 women of Tsunami Nagar (a temporary shelter) have sold their kidneys," Ranvir Prasad, an official of Thiruvallur district in southern Tamil Nadu state was quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper.
The women were offered up to 100,000 rupees (2,256 US dollars) for a kidney, but were often paid less than half the sum and ended up ill due to lack of post operative care, PTI news agency reported quoting unnamed local officials.
The women told Sangeetha that they were forced to sell their kidneys as they had no other means of survival.
They said the temporary shelters built for them were too far from the sea and they could not sell fish on the sea front as before. Their menfolk had also stopped fishing because of the distance and whiled away their time drinking and put pressure on the women to pay back family debts and keep the household running.
Maria Selvam, a leader of the Tamil Nadu Fishermen's Association said: "Earlier one or two people sold their kidney, but now almost two people sell every week."