Dashrath Manjhi :: The Real Mountain Man.
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Dashrath Manjhi :: The Real Mountain Man.

Dashrath Manjhi :: The Real Mountain Man.August | Friday : 21, 2015 :: Dashrath Manjhi :: The Real Mountain Man

Dashrath Manjhi(c. 1934 – 17 August 2007 ), also known as “Mountain Man”, was a poor labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path through a 360ft long, 30ft wide and 25ft high hillock using only a hammer and chisel. After 22 years of work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55 km to 15 km

Dashrath’s wife Falguni Devi died from lack of medical care in 1959. The nearest town with a doctor was 70km away traveling around the hills, or along a treacherous pass through the hills. He decided to carve a path through the Gehlour hills so that his village could have easier access to medical attention.

Dashrath Manjhi ran away from home at a very young age, mainly working at Dhanbad’s coal mines. Subsequently he returned to his village and carved a path 360-foot-long (110 m), 25-foot-deep (7.6 m) in places and 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) to form a road through the rocks in Gehlour hill. He quoted that, When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic but that steeled my resolve.

He completed the work in 22 years (1960–1982). This road reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of the Gaya district from 80 km to 00 km. Though mocked for his efforts, he has made life easier for people of Gehlour village. Although he had cut a protected mountain which is an offence under Indian wildlife protection act and the broken stone pieces were reportedly sold, his exemplary determination remains an inspiration. Later, Manjhi said, Though most villagers taunted me at first, there were quite a few who lent me support later by giving me food and helping me buy my tools.

Manjhi died on 17 August 2007 at the age of 73, while suffering from gall bladder cancer in All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), New Delhi. He was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar.

For his feat, Manjhi became popularly known as the ‘Mountain Man’. The Bihar government also proposed his name for the Padma Shree award in 2006 in social service sector. Nitish Kumar, the then Chief Minister of Bihar proposed to build a 3 km metalled road from Gahlaur named after Dashrath Manjhi and a hospital on his name in Gehlour village.

In popular culture
Films Division has produced a documentary film on him “The man who moved the mountain” in 2012. Kumud Ranjan is the director of the documentary. In July 2012, director Ketan Mehta announced a film, Manjhi, based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi.The film is set to release on 21st August 2015. While on his deathbed, Manjhi gave “exclusive rights” to make a film on his life. Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of Manjhi along with Radhika Apte as Falguni Devi.