Ram Bahadur Damai, a veteran of 2,000 postmortems

Published On: December 23, 2017 03:34 AM NPT By: Chhabi Lal Tiwari

PARBAT, Dec 22: Dissecting human bodies is not an easy job. In fact, it takes guts to cut up human organs. In the beginning, Ram Bahadur Damai of Kushma, Parbat, found it disgusting to cut up the organs of human bodies as directed by the doctors. But gradually he got used to it. 
Damai who migrated from 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 so far. 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 cut up dead bodies. He remembers how he used to tremble and shiver while cutting the dead bodies in his early days in the job. "I often used to get scared by the dead bodies thinking they might be alive," he shared. After his first postmortem, he did not feel like eating 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 steady person who could continue with this job for a long time," Damai said. And the pay is low -- just Rs 200 per 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 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 on bodies that have been long dead. "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 the job.


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