Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Man who moved a Mountain.....Literally!!!

No! It’s not an idiom for someone who toiled through the day and slogged in the night to achieve success. But about a man who actually moved a mountain!!!!!!

Outlook covers the story of Dasrath Manjhi, who single handedly cut a road through the huge mass of rock - massive 360 feet long, 25 feet high and 30 feet wide rock.

Every morning, for 22 long years, a frail, diminutive man, barefoot and clad in a loin cloth, would trudge two kilometres to a hillock of solid rock and chip away at it with a hammer and chisel.

Of course, the first question to hit our minds is why does he have to do that?

Dasrath eked out a living as a farm hand, toiling in the fields of local landlords on bare subsistence wages. One day, in the early '60s, his wife Phaguni fell ill and Dasrath set off with her to the nearest hospital. She died on the way. If only there was no hill blocking the road to the town, Dasrath would have made it to the hospital in time, and perhaps his wife's life would have been saved.

The villagers of Gelau, where Dasrath lived, had to take a circuitous route and travel 19 km to Wazirganj, the nearest district town with a hospital.

Dasarth - challenged by Nature and given his humble background – could have resigned to his fate. But the irony fate is; Dasrath decided to create history by changing the geography of his land. Armed with a mere chisel and hammer, Dasarth decided to cut a road through the huge mass of rock.

After 22 years - from 1962 to 1984 - of toil, Dasrath paved the way. The once long route of 19 KMs was now reduced to bare minimum of 6 Kms. The road stands as a memorial for her wife and an example of grit, determination and a will to make the world a bit better.

Dasrath Manjhi was building a memorial to his wife Phaguni Devi—one that won't ever find a place in hallowed global must-visit lists, but can well be passed down from this generation to the next as a monument of love. A poor man's Taj, literally. Not for its aesthetics, but for the way it symbolises the human spirit's capacity to endure, its indomitability.

So true, that these stories, probably will, never find a place in history. This post is a tribute to the man - Dasrath Manjhi (1934-2007) – who stood against all odds rocks.



Hiren Metalia said...

If its a true story its incredible and definitely a better memorial/tribute than the TAJ; but i have my own reservations ...
-> its simply impossible to cut a 360 ft road ALONE through a ROCK with just hammer and chisel ... never mind how long that person works on the same.
-> I dont think one can cut through moutains without the government noticing the same and taking some action.

Neo said...

@Hiren - its a true story. It seems you have not followed the link to the outlook website. This story has featured previously in many papers. The article is written in the light of his death. Secondly 22years is a long time. you cnt just turn away the credit. and regaridng the government - its rural you think it matters!!

Hiren Metalia said...

yep .. i didnt read the outlook article ... which is a bit more convincing :p :-)

and it was never a question of not giving credit ... i mentioned in the very first line that if its a true story then its definitely incredible !!!

We all need to bow down to this amazingly determined man ... we urbanites dont even move a stone on the roads ... and this guy moved a moutain to make a road !!!!

Anonymous said...


This articles had boggled my mind.

u got amazing writing skill!!

keep it up


Neo said...

@anon - it seems you have misunderstood the blog quotes as my writing. They are from cited from the article :)when are u revealing ur identity?

eklavya said...

Thanks for sharing this story Viral. It's inspiring and moving. I covered this story on my blog too and it's nice to find that other fellow indian has covered it too. Thanks for sharing this story.

Prashant Karkera said...

A great tribute to the man from your post which was unheard atleast for some people like me.

Well written :)

Sudershan said...

Great story of a great man with his undying love for his life, indeed he built a monument more worthy and admirable than Taj!

Thanks for sharing such wonderful human with us...

Neo said...

@eklavya - thanks for dropping by. You are doing a nice job,i must say.

@PK,Suder - thanks and spread the story

Mafat said...


This is really inspiring and as u said 'invigorating' case. Proves that we can achieve anything we want;its only about how badly we want it.

Needless to say, writign skills are impressive!


Jolvin said...

That's truly inspirational

Anonymous said...

grat job, but i guess the statistics is little wrong. i myself had had the oppurtunity to meet this man and i think it used to take around 70 kms (not 19kms )to reach the nearest Hospital and he dug the tunnel which was 1km in length and not (6kms).

anyways gr8 on ur part.

Thanx Sandip

Christina Wong said...

I salute this brave, persistent man for acomplishing such a formidable task.

Our late mom, taught/motivated my sibs & I with bed-side stories. One of her tales was "The old fool moves a mountain". Whenever mom told that story, the "smart Alec", me, would smugly comment: That's impossible. You need heavy machinery".

Mr. Dasrath Manji not only made that tale comes to life, but inspires the world!

Thanks, mom. I'll remember that "when there's a will, there is a way" & will push on, in adversity.

Thanks, Mr. Dasrath Manjhi, a for your quite, inspiration for the world & I.