Dashrath Manjhi on a 2016 stamp of India
|Died||17 August 2007 (aged 77–78)|
|Other names||Mountain Man|
|Known for||Manually carving a mountain in order to connect Gehlaur and Gaya|
Dashrath Manjhi (c. 1929 – 17 August 2007), also known as Mountain Man, was a laborer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path 110 m long (360 ft), 9.1 m (30 ft) wide and 7.6 m (25 ft) deep through a hillock using only a hammer and chisel. After 22 years of work, Dashrath shortened travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55 km to 15 km.
Early life and work
Dashrath Manjhi was born in a Musahar family, at the lowest rung of caste system. He ran away from his home at a young age and worked at Dhanbad's coal mines. He returned to his village and married Falguni Devi.
Falguni Devi died after an accident due to not receiving immediate medical care, as there were no nearby hospitals. Thinking that no one else should suffer this fate, he resolved to build the road to make his village more accessible. Manjhi felt the need to do something for society and decided to carve a path through the Gehlour hills so that his village could have easier access to medical care. He carved a path 110 m long, 7.7 m deep in places and 9.1 m wide to form a road through the rocks in Gehlour hill. He said, "When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic but that steeled my resolve."
He completed the work in 22 years (1960–1982). This path reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj sectors of the Gaya district from 55 km to 15 km. Though mocked for his efforts, Manjhi's work has made life easier for people of the Gehlaur village. Later, Manjhi said, "Though most villagers taunted me at first, there were quite a few who lent me support later by giving me food and helping me buy my tools."
For his feat, Manjhi became popularly known as the 'Mountain Man'. The Bihar government also proposed his name for the Padma Shree award in 2006 in social service sector. A stamp was released by India Post  in the "Personalities of Bihar" series on 26 December 2016.
The man who moved the mountain, could not move the bureaucracy to build pucca roads between his village and Wazirganj and Atri and Gaya. His village falls in the Atri block. The roads were built, but only after his death in 2007.
In popular culture
Films Division produced a documentary directed by Kumud Ranjan named The Man Who Moved the Mountain based on Manjhi's life in 2011.
In August 2015, a Hindi movie Manjhi - The Mountain Man was released and well received. The movie was directed by Ketan Mehta. Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of Manjhi along with Radhika Apte as Falguni Devi.
Manjhi's deeds are referred to in the 2011 Kannada movie Olave Mandara directed by Jayatheertha. A supporting character in the 1998 Kannada movie Bhoomi Thayiya Chochchala Maga was based on Manjhi.
The first episode of Season 2 of the Aamir Khan hosted TV Show Satyamev Jayate, aired in March 2014, was dedicated to Dashrath Manjjhi. Aamir Khan and Rajesh Ranjan also met Bhagirath Manjhi and Basanti Devi, son and daughter-in-law of Manjhi and promised to provide financial help. However, Basanti Devi died due to inability to afford medical care on 1 April 2014.
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- — location of the passage carved by Dashrath Manjhi through the Gehlour Hills rock formation