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Mountain Man - Dashrath Manjhi

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1100198.  Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:05 pm Reply with quote

Dashrath Manjhi was born in the thirties near Gaya in India. On one side of his village was a narrow hill that stretched both ways so far that if you were to get to the nearest hospital you’d have to travel 70 km. There was a foot-wide, treacherous path across the hill but it was dangerous and near impossible to use.

When Manjhi’s wife died due to the lack of timely medical attention he decided to do something about the mountain path. His wish was that nobody else should have to suffer just because the government was not interested in building a proper road. So he set about doing it himself - with a hammer, chisel and shovel. It took him 22 years but he cut a road in the mountain: 360-foot-long, 25-foot-deep and 30-foot-wide.

It’s not just his village that was cut off by the mountain. Many adjoining areas had that same problem and now people from over 60 villages use the passage he created to reach the farmland they work on or the nearest markets, not to mention the schools.

As it usually is with people, at first the other villagers taunted and mocked him, but the further he got into the mountain the less they mocked. At some point they started giving him food and would help him buy tools. Then he became known as the “Mountain Man”. He became the stuff of legend, their own superhero. The only recognition he received from the government was a state funeral, but he himself said he was not interested in any rewards. Later on the state also covered the cost of his treatment when Manjhi suffered from cancer.

A film about him, directed by Ketan Mehta came out this year in India.


1100321.  Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:51 am Reply with quote

That's an incredible story! Thanks for sharing it Shoshannah.

1100324.  Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:33 am Reply with quote

Thank you. And welcome. I thought so too. What an inspiring person!

1100349.  Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:46 pm Reply with quote

It always cheers me when I come across someone using their ingenuity to a positive purpose, rather than new and impressive ways to be mean and cruel.


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