Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

Categories: Asia | History | Society

The saying goes that “patience and hard work will wear out everything.” This is actually what happens, as proven by a resident of India named Dashrath Manjhi. This man alone was able to “grind” the mountain, or rather, cut a passage through it. At the same time, he used only primitive hand tools. It’s scary to think, but this task took him 22 years. True, the man did the titanic work not for the sake of a record, but with thoughts of his fellow countrymen.

Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

Dashrath Manjhi was born in 1934 into a poor peasant family. His homeland is a small village near the city of Gaya in the Indian state of Bihar. Yes, the city was relatively close, but it was very difficult to get into it, as well as into other settlements. The fact is that the village was separated from civilization by a steep mountain.

Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

It was possible to overcome the mountain only along dangerous goat paths, winding over dangerous cliffs. It was possible to move along them only at the risk of life and exclusively on foot. To deliver any large cargo, it was necessary to make a huge detour.

But the biggest problem for the villagers of Manjha was transporting the sick to the nearest medical facility. Many patients with serious problems simply did not have time to be taken to doctors on a detour. The villagers appealed to the Bihar government many times to solve the problem, but they were not heard. One generation succeeded another, and the dangerous path through the mountain remained the best option for communication with the big world.

Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

One day, Dashrath Manjha's wife named Falguni Devi felt unwell. But while the issue of transporting her along a 75 km long road was being decided, the woman died. Then Dashrath realized that he could no longer live like this and something had to be done. He took a pick, a chisel, a hammer and a shovel and headed towards the mountain.

He decided to cut a path through the rock mass in order to shorten the road to the city by tens of kilometers. If such a passage appears, then the villagers will not have to take risks on the mountain path, going to the hospital, to the market or to school. There will be no need to wait for passing transport for a short trip along the road.

Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

Local residents did not take their fellow countryman's idea seriously. They were sure that it was impossible to break through the mountain alone, with a hammer and a chisel. No one thought to help Manjhi, and everyone was just waiting for him to give up. But the man purposefully hammered away at the mountain, centimeter by centimeter, getting closer to the goal.

Months passed and some people believed in Dashrath's success. Neighbors began bringing him food and giving him tools. Some even tried to help, but quickly lost interest in work - the mountain was huge, and motivation disappeared instantly. But the stubborn peasant did not ask anyone and did not complain about anything. He simply did the work and moved forward in tiny steps.

Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

The first time an Indian chisel pierced the rock of the mountain was in 1960. On the other hand, he came out only in 1982, breaking through a passage 100 meters long, 7.6 meters wide and 9.1 meters high. Now, in order to gain access to the benefits of civilization, the villagers had to travel not 75, but only 1 km.

The stone passage made by Dashratha Manjhi changed the lives of people not only in his village. It is used by residents of 60 localities in the state. And the creator of the tunnel began to be respectfully called the Man of the Mountain. Taking advantage of the fruits of his labor, people said words of gratitude and prayed for his health.

Hindu Dashrath Manjhi - the man who conquered the mountain

But the state authorities did not thank the man who spent a significant part of his life doing their work. It was only after Dashrath Manjhi's death in 2007 that they agreed to bury him at their own expense. The stubborn Man of the Mountain has been dead for many years, but people remember him and are unlikely to forget him. His story became a local legend that began to be passed down from generation to generation.

American William Schmidt did no less titanic work. Over 32 years of painstaking work, he made a tunnel more than 2 km long in the Mojave Desert. But his goal remained a mystery.

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