For 22 years, every day, this man used to disappear into the mountain at dawn and return home only late at night. His perseverance and dedication created a miracle that everyone thought was simply impossible!

Many villagers thought Dashrath Manjhi had gone crazy after his wife died in 1959. Manjhi lived in a small village in Gaya District of Bihar State in India. The remote village was isolated from the world; people had to walk 80 kilometers (50 miles) to the nearest town along a rough road around a mountain.

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In a fitting tribute to ‘Mountain Man’, Suresh Prabhu wants to take railways to Dashrath Manjhi’s village

In a fitting tribute to ‘Mountain Man’, Suresh Prabhu wants to take railways to Dashrath Manjhi’s…

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced that he would explore if a rail line could be laid till Gehlore – ‘Mountain Man’ Dashrath Manjhi’s village.

Manjhi had lived happily with his wife, but their peaceful life was clouded one day in 1959 when his pregnant wife fell from the mountain. He carried his bloodstained wife to the nearest hospital some 80 kilometers away, but she died on the way. At the hospital, she was declared dead on arrival; however, their baby girl was born safely.

The loss of his beloved wife was very hard to bear, and he decided to change things around for others in the village. He gathered up the necessary tools and every day spent his time on the mountain—for 22 years from 1960 to 1982.

Manjhi intended to build a more direct route to the nearest town by digging away at that mountain, piece by piece. He wanted to help his fellow villagers avoid the tragedy he had endured.

During this time, drought hit their village, and Manjhi’s father ridiculed him and asked him to move to town to work. But the “mountain man” continued even when there was no water in the village. He had to drink dirty water and eat leaves, but he continued with greater resilience.

The fruits of his unprecedented effort became visible to people only after two decades, only after he had carved out a road through the mountain. Till then, people just made fun of him and called him crazy!

Manjhi’s persistence and unswerving determination were incredible. In 1982, he had completed the 360-foot-long and 25-foot-deep passage through the mountain with his hammer and shovel all by himself. Now, instead of 80 kilometers, it is only 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) to the nearest town. You can travel to town in just one hour.

Faridoon Shahryar @iFaridoon

[email protected]_S @radhika_apte Ketan Mehta offer their reverence to Dashrath Manjhi in his village #Gehlaur #Bihar

Sadly, Manjhi died on Aug. 17, 2007, at the age of 73 after succumbing to gallbladder cancer. He was given a state funeral by the Bihar government.

Though Manjhi had passed away, he will always be remembered as the Mountain Man, whose work has changed the lives of the villagers. He was such an inspiration that even a movie titled Manjhi – The Mountain Man was made based on his life story.

Thanks to this crazy man, now, children can go to school, adults can find better jobs, and sick people can reach a doctor in time.