The worst drought hit north India this year. Due to failing crops, Indian debt-ridden farmers in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, have reportedly been selling their wives and daughters to their money-lenders in recent months.
They usually sell their wives and daughters for Rs 4,000 - Rs12, 000 (£50-£150). The more beautiful the woman, the higher the price that she fetches.
Thousands of farmers in the region are involved, and the situation has spiralled into a major political crisis in India.
India's National Commission for Women (NCW) is now sending a team to investigate the cases.
The poor monsoon has also driven at least 25 people in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh to suicide in the past two months as farmers have struggled to pay their debts, according to a report prepared for the Indian government.
Related:10 Indian states seriously affected by drought: ministerBy People's Daily Online/agencies