Gehlaur, Bihar, India
|Died||17 August 2007
New Delhi, India
|Cause of death||Cancer of gall bladder|
|Other names||Mountain Man|
|Known for||Single-handedly constructing a roadway through a mountain|
Dashrath Manjhi (c. 1934 – 17 August 2007), also known as "Mountain Man", was a poor laborer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path through a mountain 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
Dashrath Manjhi carved a path 360-foot-long (110 m) through-cut, 25-foot-deep (7.6 m) in places and 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) to form a road through the rocks in the Gehlour hill. He quoted that, 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 road reduced the distance between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of the Gaya district from 55 km to 15 km. Though mocked for his efforts, he has made life easier for people of Gehlour 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.
Manjhi died on 17 August 2007 at the age of 73, while suffering from gall bladder cancer in All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS), New Delhi. He was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar.
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. Nitish Kumar, the then Chief Minister of Bihar proposed to build a 3 km metaled road from Gahlaur named after Dashrath Manjhi and a hospital on his name in Gehlour village.
In popular culture
On July 2012, director Ketan Mehta announced a film, Manjhi, based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi. While on his deathbed, Manjhi gave "exclusive rights" to make a film on his life. Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the role of Manjhi along with Radhika Apte as Falguni Devi. Manjhi's deeds are referred to in Olave Mandara, a Kannada film by Jayatheertha.
The First Episode of Season 2 of Aamir Khan hosted TV Show Satyamev Jayate, aired in March 2014, was dedicated to Dashrath Manjhi. 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 April 1, 2014. Her husband recently stated that she could have been saved if the promise of help by Aamir Khan had been kept.
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- Location of cut-through:
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