As we generously praise Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s career-best performance in Manjhi, there are no words to express gratitude and awe to the man who lived the life – Dashrath Manjhi. Also known as Mountain Man, this man from Gehlour Village took it upon himself to carve a road out of mountain through relentless hard-work. His singlehanded superhuman efforts made it possible for villagers to have accessibility to medical help, jobs and schools.
The real story of Dashrath Manjhi
Dashrath Manjhi’s work involved working in the jungle to cut wood. His wife, Falguni Devi, would bring him lunch, walking along the treacherous mountainous terrain, daily. One fateful day, while carrying lunch for her husband, she tripped over, fell down and injured herself grievously.
Deeply shocked by the incident, Dashrath Manjhi resolved that no one else would ever suffer the fate as he did. He decided to single-handedly carve a road out of the mountain. While the entire villagefolk thought he had lost it, his vision was fueled by the love for his wife, who unfortunately died following the injury.
Dashrath did not have faith in the red-tapism of the government and believed that it was about him against the mountain. He sold three of his goats and purchased a hammer and chisel. With these simple tools, he broke the mountain for 22 years from 1960 to 1982.
The Mountain Man, as he became known, would break mountain from 4AM to 8 AM in the morning and from 8PM to 1 PM, he would plough the fields. From 1 PM all the way to the late evening, he would go back to breaking the mountain. He would often forego food. His passion and sheer hard-work began to gain support from people and subsequent media mileage. With the news of Dashrath giving all his life to make a road out of a mountain, he was praised for his unwavering dedication to improve the conditions of his village.
By 1982, Dashrath had achieved the unthinkable – he had made a mountain road, 25 feet high, 30 feet wide and 360 feet in length. The mountain now looks like a fractured jaw. This road considerably reduced the distance between Wazirganj and Atri in Gaya from 55 kilometers to just 15 kilometers.
This was not the only challenge for Dashrath. He wanted to put forth his point of view to Delhi. When his well-wishers advised him that Delhi was ‘door’ (far), he said, “It can’t be too far. I will show you.” Dashrath walked all the way to Delhi, it took him 3 months but he conquered another milestone. The government finally constructed a smooth road for the villagers, and opened a dispensary in the area.
The Mountain Man died of gall bladder cancer, on August 17, 2007 in New Delhi.
If one person wills it, even the mountains move to make way – this is how we can exemplify the life of Dashrath Manjhi.
You may voluntarily choose to contribute in Dashrath Manjhi Welfare Trust, a fund-raising initiative to build a school in his village.
Dashrath Manjhi and the Mountain Road – (Pictures )
The mountain road which Dashrath Manjhi single-handedly made in a period of 22 years
Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the movie ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’