Living 70 kilometers away from the hospital led to the untimely death of Dashrath Manjhi’s wife, Falguni Devi, in 1959 due to a lack of immediate medical care. The great distance from where they lived all the way to the nearest hospital was comprised of dangerous roads amid rocky terrain.
His wife’s death motivated Dashrath to cut down the mountain in order to make a shortcut so that no one would end up like his deceased wife. He did this despite the mocking he received from his fellow villagers.
During the ‘60s, the Musahars (landless laborers) lived in this remote mountainous area. They were deemed as the lowest of the low as they had no running water, electricity, a school, and a medical center in the area. Dashrath used to work at the other side of the mountain, and every noontime his wife would bring him his lunch. Since they had no roads, she had no choice but to climb the mountain which took hours.
One fateful day, Phaguni arrived at Dashrath’s workplace emptyhanded and with a badly injured leg. The injury was caused when she tripped on a loose rock and slid down several feet. Despite being severely injured, Dashrath could not hold back his anger at his wife for being late.
Unfortunately, due to lack of urgent medical assistance, Phaguni died from her wounds. Dashrath didn’t want the other villagers to end up with the same fate, so he bought a hammer, a chisel, and a crowbar. He then started carving a path on the mountain. It was until 1982 when he finished a road that was around 110 meters long.
“That mountain had shattered so many pots and claimed so many lives. I could not bear that it had hurt my wife. If it took all my life now, I would carve us a road through the mountain,” Dashrath said.
What can you say about this selfless act? Were you inspired by Dashrath’s dedication? Share your thoughts with us in the comments field below.