By Meghana Rathore:
It is a belief deeply entrenched among the Indian folks that one person cannot alone make a difference. It sounds pretty legitimate too. We are a country with such a huge population count that it seems just appropriate to get away with everything by stating this general parlance-“we cannot do it alone”. The reality that is rarely conjectured is the pervasive indifference and insensitive attitude among the masses towards our nation.
One such iconoclastic personality, who we all know as the ‘Mountain Man’ was Dashrath Manjhi. An old man at the far end of his life, who lived in the small village of Gahlour in Bihar, set such an enamoured example. Manjhi with his wife lived in a small dwelling in a remote village where transit system was poor as one had to travel around the rocky hills. One unfortunate day in 1967, Fahlguni Devi, Manjhi’s wife got injured and needed immediate medical assistance. However, because of the lack of any passage, she died on the way to the hospital.
Disquieted by the unfortunate event, Dashrath Manjhi in a valiant move made up his mind to construct a road for better connectivity and to avoid further misfortunes. He took a chisel and a hammer and kick started this monumental task (howsoever obscure it may sound to others). He showed dexterity in his work and bludgeoned the mountain day in and out. The villagers lambasted and mocked him but in vain. With a stolid and unresponsive attitude he continued with his work. His determination did not waver for a second.
After 22 years of dedication and assiduousness, the 360 feet long, 30 feet high and 25 feet wide passage, the entire idea of which seemed obscure was a mystifying reality, a reality that changed the entire picture of the abandoned village. This passage reduced the distance between the village and the town to a mere 15 kilometres.
This story may sound like an apocryphal to many but fortunately it is a real one. It is an enamouring, inspiring one that leaves each one of us gobsmacked. So the next time we say that one man cannot move a mountain, we probably would need to give it a second thought. Dashrath Manjhi later died in august 2007 after developing cancer in his gall bladder. The Mountain Man will forever be remembered and revered for taking up the gauntlet and proving each one of us wrong and that probably could be the reason why an entire feature film that depicts his life, is in the making. One person alone can certainly make a difference.