Dashrath Manjhi, the illiterate septuagenarian poor farmer from Gehlour, had died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on August 17, 2007. He was suffering from gallbladder cancer. He would forever be remembered as the different kind of ‘mountain man’. Not the ones who conquered the mighty mountains by climbing their peaks. But by conquering them on doing that which no human has possibly even thought of attempting singlehandedly.
Condoling the death of Manjhi, the Chief Minister of Bihar.. Nitish Kumar had announced state funeral.
Ignoring ridicule from his fellow villagers and without any help from them, Manji decided to take upon himself the construction and managed to construct a 360 feet long, 30 feet high and 25 feet wide passage through the Gehlour hills with just hammer, chisel and nails. Working day and night for 22 years from 1960 to 1982. His unthinkable feat reduced the distance between Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya district from 75 km to only 1 km. He did it not to have the fame it brought him. He only wished to help lessen the time and effort required to reach the nearest town from his village.
When Manjhi had met Nitish Kumar at a janata durbar in Patna, Kumar is said to have stood up in reverence to the man with Himalayan resolve and made him sit on the Chief Minister’s chair.
The state government had allotted a five-acre plot to Manjhi in Karjani village, which he donated for construction of a hospital. The government had announced to name the hospital after Manjhi.
The mountain man’s only son and daughter in-law are handicapped and the family lives in poverty. For his own family, Manjhi could do nothing more than procuring an Indira Awaas Yojna unit.
Source Credits: Hindustan Times