Bode’s Famed Tongue Piercer Driving Ambulance For COVID Patients

Buddha Krishna Baga Shrestha of Bode, who has pierced his tongue for eight times in the local Jatra is now helping to carry COVID-19 patients to hospitals like he did last year.
Amidst the pandemic, Shrestha pierced his tongue on the second day of the New Year, to preserve and protect the rare intangible cultural heritage.
By profession, Shrestha is an ambulance driver for 19 years and he has saved many lives by carrying critically ill persons to the hospital.
As the COVID patients are increasing on daily basis, Shrestha shared that he had no time even for having food. “I am so busy carrying COVID patients to the hospitals that I cannot get time even to eat meals at home. I receive many calls for ambulance service,” said Shrestha.
The second wave of infection is more dreadful than the first wave. “I am busy carrying the infected persons all day and even in night time.”
Shrestha is also the founder president of the Nepal Ambulance Driver Association, in which 30 ambulance operators are associated. Of the 30 ambulances, 15 are used for carrying infected people.
“I am doing my duty in this critical situation, I have forgotten my thirst, hunger, sleep and tiredness. How can I shy away from providing services when the nation is fighting against virus pandemic?” said Shrestha.
“I feel so bad when I cannot provide service to all who call me for help.”
Sharing his bitter experience of last two weeks, Shrestha said that some patients died on the way to hospital, which was a heartbreaking experience.
“I wish no frontline workers and ambulance drivers would be infected with this deadly virus, the situation may get worse if the service providers get infected.”
No one should die at their home in lack of ambulance service to reach hospital in time, he said.
Shrestha said that many ambulance drivers were not ready to carry the virus affected people fearing that they would catch the virus. “Those who need ambulance service can call me on 9851153378,”  He said, “I use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect myself from the virus when I carry the infected people. Nepali Army has provided me four sets of protection gears,” he said.
The Nepali Army had provided PPEs for ambulance drivers of four municipalities. Shrestha said that the association has provided PPEs to all ambulance drivers.