IN Golarchi, District Badin, a man has sold his child for Rs 100 as soon as he was born. According to a private TV channel, a person named Laano sold his child, and delivered it within hours of birth to members of the Agwani tribe. The incident was reported to the police by the maternal uncle of the child, and then police action led to the recovery of the child and to the taking into custody of Farid Agwani. The child's mother, Hanifan, has disclosed that the people from the Agwani tribe came when she was unconscious, but still able to make out that they had come on a rickshaw, and then the foul deed was done. That Laano has a history of child-sale, having before sold a girl-child, should not distract from the fact that this has been an episode caused by poverty. Indeed, the whole of lower Sindh has been impoverished by the current economic crisis, and Badin is just one district among many which are at moment deeply afflicted. It is difficult to imagine how hard-pressed must be even the father of a child who would sell off his own blood on birth. The situation he must be facing would have to be very dire indeed, for him to have made the necessary arrangements ahead of the birth of the child, and that too without the knowledge of the mother, whose silence was so essential to the success of the scheme. That he planned the crime in advance is clear enough from the sequence of events as pieced together by the police. The government should pay special attention not just to the afflicted districts, which include the area from which both the National Assembly Speaker and her husband the Sindh Home Minister belong, but to the whole of Sindh, or rather the whole of Pakistan, to make sure that no families get so poor in the current crisis that they are forced into selling their children. No one should take the plea of custom, or any such thing as any party to this deal might make, to justify this horrible crime, as has happened in some other cases.