Poor Villager Gives 22 Years Of Hard Work To Make A Difference
Cailyn Finkel 6/1/2017
In a small Indian village lived a man named Dashrath Manjhi. Dashrath spent his days laboring for a meager wage and spending the little free time he had left with his wife, Falguni, and children.
For the most part, the Manjhis lived a simple life. But it was complicated time and time again by the existence of one enormous mountain near their home. It cut off access to major stores, schools and medical facilities just on the other side of the mountain range.
Villagers were forced to travel more than 30 miles around the mountain every time they needed to go into the city. Not only did the mountain frustrate Dashrath, but it irritated the other villagers as well!
Everyday, Dashrath was forced to navigate his way around the mountain. It wasn't as problematic when Dashrath was a young boy, but as he aged and had a family of his own, the treacherous path became more and more troublesome.
Then the unthinkable happened. Dashrath's son, Bhagirath, shared why his father was inspired to begin his momentous project.
"One day, my father went to the other side of the mountain to cut wood. When my mother was trekking up the mountain to bring food to my father, she fell down.
The pot broke and she also got hurt."
Falguni's injuries didn't seem severe at first, but her condition dramatically worsened over the following weeks. Dashrath insisted that they make the trek through the mountains to see a doctor - and Falguni finally agreed.
Unfortunately, Falguni was too weak to make it all the way around the mountain. She passed away during the journey and Dashrath's anger was aimed at the mountain range once again.
Ramcharit Prasad, one of Dashrath's closest friends, explained that his wife's passing was the final straw.
"When his wife was hurt, Dashrath Manjhi got worried.....
He thought everyone has to [give] birth, eat, earn money and die. But why not do just one thing in his life to make a road through this mountain that is beneficial for not only [himself] but for the whole society?"
With just a chisel and hammer, Dashrath set off to do something practically unheard of at the time.
Dashrath decided that he was going to build a road through the mountain so people could get to the resources they needed in an hour, rather than days.
The villagers mocked him endlessly, but Dashrath knew his project was a noble one. If he succeeded, the road through the mountain could save lives and help his neighbors progress socially and economically.
Despite their ridicule, Dashrath remained committed to the project for more than 22 years. Every morning he would wake up, walk to the mountain and chisel away at its jagged core. At the end of each day Dashrath returned home to care for his children and rest briefly before heading back out.
This happened day-in and day-out until Dashrath passed away in 2007.
By the time of his passing, Dashrath manage to chisel away a road that was 5 feet high, 30 feet wide and more than 300 feet long. Now the villagers have almost immediate access to food marts, medical care and schooling - the road has completely changed their lives!