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Father Sells Daughter to Buy Food

October 11, 1991

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) _ An impoverished Bangladeshi peasant sold his 8-day-old daughter to a postman to obtain enough money to buy a pound of rice, news reports said Friday.

The peasant, identified only as Tajuddin, sold the infant for the equivalent of 17 cents, according to United News of Bangladesh and Banglar Bani, a Bengali-language newspaper.

The reports said the child’s 16-year-old mother had abandoned the family because of extreme poverty and abuse by her husband.

The incident occurred in the village of Amantagram in Jaipurhat district, 130 miles northwest of Dhaka, which was battered by severe floods last month, the reports said. They did not say when the sale took place.

Thousands of people have been left homeless by the floods, and at least 1,386 people died from an outbreak of diarrhea, according to Health Ministry figures.

Nearly 80 percent of Bangladesh’s 110 million people live below the poverty line, meaning they don’t earn enough to meet minimum dietary needs. The country’s annual per capita income is $170.

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