Indian man Dashrath Manjhi and his wife Falguni spent their entire lives in the small village of Gehlour, which was separated from the nearest city of Gaya by mountains. In order to reach the city, villagers had to travel a 35-mile road that went around the peaks rather than through them.
This kept the village fairly isolated, and made access to things like education and health care very difficult, the latter of which became a big problem when Falguni suddenly became very ill.
The pair tried to make the journey to Gaya by foot, but unfortunately Falguni passed away before they could get there. In his devastation, Dashrath determined to work through his grief and honor his wife with a monumental project that just might prevent the type of tragedy he’d been through…
Dashrath Manjhi and his wife Falguni spent their entire lives in the small Indian village of Gehlour, which was separated by mountains from the nearest city of Gaya. When Falguni became ill, the pair had to travel to see a doctor by a 35-mile road that went around the mountains…
Unfortunately, Dashrath’s wife passed away on the journey and her loss left him absolutely devastated. In his grief, though, he came up with a plan to honor his wife and prevent any more deaths in his community due to distance from the city…
He spent a number of days gathering tools, and then got to work. He was determined to chip away at the nearest mountain bit by bit and build a road that would connect Gehlour to Gaya as efficiently as possible!
Every day for 22 years he woke up at dawn, gathered his tools and went into the mountains, returning at night completely exhausted. The villagers knew what he was trying to do, but never believed he would achieve his goal. Then after he died in 2007, they saw what he’d accomplished…
To everyone’s amazement, Dashrath has succeeded in clearing a passage through the mountains that was 30 feet wide and cut 25 feet deep through the stone. The journey from the village to the city was now only three miles rather than 35!
His fellow villagers’ lives were almost immediately changed by the access that his road provided. Suddenly, access to the health care, schools, and shops that had been virtually inaccessible was at their fingertips!
The village has begun to grow now that more children can get a good education and more adults can find employment in the city. Dashrath’s vision for the road and its effects actually came to be quite quickly after he passed away…
Although in his lifetime Dashrath’s goal was considered impossible, and while he never lived to see the drastic improvements his road actually made to his community, the villagers now recognize him as a visionary who helped usher their small town into the modern world.
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