The Man Who Broke A Mountain Alone

For 22 years they laughed at him while he chiseled at the rocks of a small Indian mountain. They said that he would never be able to take down an entire mountain with his simple hand tools, but they were dead wrong. For his continuous effort, Dashrath Manjhi was turned into a hero and legend.

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It all began when Manjhi’s wife, Faguni Devil, pregnant at the time, slipped on the mountain while bringing food to her husband. His blood covered wife was in need of medical attention, but the mountain blocked the route to the nearest hospital. The only route was 70 km. When finally arriving, she was declared dead. Manjhi deeply felt the loss of his one true love and decided to take vengeance on the mountain. In her memory he decided to carve a path in the mountain for others in his wife’s situation to go into the bigger city that was only 15 km away. He wanted his village to have access to doctors, school, and opportunity. So he sold his 3 goats, and bought hammer and chisels. He worked all day and night. The people of the village and even his father ridiculed him. Later in an interview, his nephew said:

“People told Manjhi that he wouldn’t be able to do it,” and “that he is a poor man who just needs to earn and eat.”

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After a few years some in the village saw his devotion and started helping by giving food and tools. His work starting in 1960 finally came to an end in 1982 when his road was finished. On August 17, 2007, he sadly died at the age of 73 to gall bladder cancer, and was given a state funeral. And in 2015, a hindi film -“Manjhi – The Mountain Man”- came out depicting his life. His hard efforts and true devotion to helping others despite their criticism is inspiring and amazing.

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