Dasrath Manjhi, also referred to as the “Mountain Man” was a poor and landless farmer in India who made history by spending over twenty years chipping away at a mountain to carve a mile-long path through the rocky hillside where he lived – all by himself with only a chisel, hammer and shovel.
The people of his village had asked the government so many times to make a proper road through the hill but nobody paid any attention. Before his road was created, children had to walk eight kilometers to reach school and after completion of the handmade road, that distance was reduced to three kilometers and people from over 60 villages use it every day.
What empowered a single man to accomplish such a monumental task?
What empowers one man to create a road through a hill by using a chisel, hammer and a shovel for 20 YEARS? Talk about perseverance!
Initially, it was done out of the strong love for his wife after she was injured one day while carrying him food and water to where he was working on a farm across the mountain. But what also kept him working without fear or worry all those years was his desire to see thousands of villagers crossing the hill with ease whenever they wanted.
The ‘Mountain Man’s’ legacy and inspiration lives on not only among the thousands of Indians who remain in his village overcoming challenges and fighting new battles, it will live on through those of us influenced and motivated by his story and who are moving our own mountains.
Dasrath was a hero who made the choice to make a change, regardless of the insurmountable obstacles. If you are faced with making a change, then maybe it’s time to pick up the hammer and start chipping away at whatever mountains surround you.