PARBAT, Dec 20: Dissecting human bodies is not an easy job. In fact, it takes a strong-hearted and daring person to conduct a postmortem. In the beginning, Ram Bahadur Damai of Kushma, Tanahun, found it disgusting to chop the organs of human bodies as directed by the doctors. But later, he got used to it.
Damai who migrated to Parbat at the age of 14 has been doing this job for the last 27 years. He has dissected more than 2,000 bodies in these years. He had at first worked at the then District Development committee and later got employed at the district hospital. Even though he was just appointed as a helper at the hospital, he had to conduct postmortems. He remembers how he used to tremble and shiver while cutting the dead bodies in the beginning. "I often used to get scared by the dead bodies thinking they might be alive," he shared. After performing the first postmortem, he could not eat his meal properly for days.
In the early days, he did the chopping job without gloves. "There are very few brave people who can take this job. After coming to the district hospital, I have not seen a stable person who could continue with this job for a long time," Damai said. Despite the difficulties of the job, he is paid Rs 200 for one postmortem. This has been a great disappointment for him. "Earlier, I had to perform this job for free but now I get Rs. 170 after cutting the taxes. But that's not enough," he laments.
Sometimes he even conducts four postmortems a day. "I have been doing this for a long time but there are days when I still can't eat my meal," he said. According to him, it is more difficult to conduct postmortems of old bodies. "Especially the bad odor coming from the dead body makes it difficult to conduct the postmortem," he added. But that has never made him quit his job.