Dashrath Manjhi was an Indian local who did wonders for his small, isolated town, which was far away from schools and markets. The townspeople even raised concern with the government, asking for a road to make it easier to go to other towns — all to no avail.
After many failed attempts, Dashrath Manjhi took matters into his own hands and did his herculean work, spending more than two decades creating the road that his fellow townspeople had been asking for. Using just a chisel, Manjhi split a mountain in two. The once impassable terrain now is a 360-foot-long, 30-foot-wide road for bicycles and motorcycles.
Two decades of work! What kept him going?
Well, he said that his love for his wife empowered him to continue his work even if she was not alive to witness the legendary accomplishment. “My wife, Faguni Devi, was seriously injured while crossing the hill to bring me water. I worked then on a farm across the hills. That was the day I decided to carve out a proper road through this hill,” Manjhi said.
His wife died because she fell ill and was not taken to the hospital because it was hard for them to travel.
“My love for my wife was the initial spark that ignited in me the desire to carve out a road. But what kept me working without fear or worry all those years was the desire to see thousands of villagers crossing the hill with ease whenever they wanted.”
He also added that when he first started this project, he did it alone. “Though most villagers taunted me at first, there were quite a few who lent me support later by giving me food and helping me buy my tools.”
Sadly, he did not receive recognition from the Indian government even when he had died. In 2007, he was given a state burial and nothing more.
“What I did is there for everyone to see. When God is with you, nothing can stop you. I am neither afraid of any punishment from any government department for my work, nor am I interested in any honor from the government,” Manjhi said.
He truly was a very great man.