Dashrath Manjhi died at the age of 73-years-old, but what he did with 22 of those years has left a legacy that will live forever.
“The Mountain Man,” as he was known, carved a road through the mountain using no modern machinery. Yes, many thought he was crazy when he started. But he made believers out of all of them in finishing the task he had set out to do.
Manjhi lived in the Gaya District of Bihar State in India, a small, remote and isolated village. That remoteness was a problem for the people who lived in that area because they would have to walk 50 miles of difficult terrain to reach the nearest town.
What would drive a man to carve a way to walk through a mountain, rather than go around it or over it?
And perhaps the more pertinent question is:
Why would anyone believe that this could be done with a chisel and a modest set of working tools?
Love. That is what some say drove Manjhi to this calling. Manjhi was a married man who loved his wife very much. When she became pregnant, they could not have been happier.
But that’s when a tragedy occurred that would change the happy couple’s life forever. However, it also created the opportunity for a hero to show what one person can do in the name of love.
Manjhi’s wife took a spill walking on that mountain and was severely injured. The only chance to save her and their baby living inside of her was to make that long trek along the rough mountain road—the whole 50 miles.
Manjhi carried his wife along that road as fast as he possibly could to get her to a hospital, but she died along the way. Their baby daughter survived and was delivered when he finally reached the hospital.
Every morning thereafter, Dashrath would head straight to that mountain with his antiquated tools and work until sunset, chiseling away at the ominous mountain.
He did that for twenty-two years. One strike at a time, he buried his sorrow by concentrating on creating a way for others to never have to suffer as he did. he was resolved to shorten that walk by taking on an entire mountain. And, that is exactly what he did.
People called him crazy and laughed at his efforts for two decades until he transformed their mocking into a miracle that they could clearly see…and use. They stopped laughing at Dashrath, and he became a national and international icon. All in the name of love.