Dashrath Manjhi – The Outcast Who Single-Handedly Chiseled A Mountain, Created A Road So People Can Get To The Doctor In Time.
Dashrath Manjhi single-handedly created a road through the rocky mountain Gehlour hills for 22 years using only a hammer and a chisel so the villagers don’t have to go around for miles whenever they needed to bring people requiring medical attention to a hospital.
The Gehlour hill is a large rocky landform that rises above the surrounding villages and generally steeper in some elevations. Nature divided the villagers from the nearest medical care services, which were located on the other side of the mountain. They have to walk and get around Gehlour hills on foot at an estimated distance of 70km just to get to the nearest town with a hospital and medical care service.
After 22 years of hard manual labor and patience, he was able to shorten the distance to 15km by cutting a 360 ft long and 25 ft wide road across the rocky mountain.
Here is his story…
Falguni Devi was walking on foot, bringing water and food for Dashrath Manjhi, her husband, when she slipped and seriously injured herself. She died in 1959 due to lack of much needed medical care.
After his wife died, he carved a road that served as direct access from his village to the other side of the mountain. The village was really isolated from the services they need, which were all located at the other side of the mountain. He planned to make a road that would make it possible and easier for the people to get medical attention in time.
The plan would mean carving out the rocky Gehlour hills. He decided to manually do the hard labor all by himself. He sold his three goats and bought a hammer and a chisel.
You cannot imagine how a man could be so focused on creating a road that would benefit everybody, when even the villagers laughed at his idea! From then on, people would see him plowing the field in the morning and chipping away rocks in the afternoon until the early evening of the day when there is still light.
Filled with determination and patience, he chipped away solid rock so he can make a road for the whole community. At first, everyone laughed. He made the change and he was ridiculed of his idea. Later, the villagers benefited from the unfinished chiseled road and they commended him for his perseverance and hard work. He was called as “The Mountain Man.”
In 1983, the hammering and chiseling was finally completed and it was after 22 years of hard work and backbreaking labor, without help and without pay. Not even a single cent. Imagine the time spent, the look of the hands and skin, and remuneration lost! He did not even think about these things. His only goal was to create a road that would make it easier for the village to get medical help at the other side of the mountain.
He cut 110 meters long, 7.7 meters deep and 9.1 meters wide road through the Gehlour hills. The road opened access to schools, healthcare and employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, the politicians named the road Dasrath Manjhi Road in his honor. A Bollywood movie was also created about him. The government included his biography in the Bihar textbooks to remind the next generation about the story behind the Dasrath Manjhi Road.
Remarkable as he was, he did not want fame. He wanted medical care and schools constructed in his village. He submitted a petition to the government and requested for a village hospital, school and water. All his life, he toiled for the benefit of his people without personal gain.
Here is my question for you…
Would you be brave enough to make the change happen? (Imagine hammer and chisel as tools only)
Another Great story about an ordinary person doing extra-ordinary things.
The Better India