The Real super man: India
Many hands, much work done. Big money, big returns and profits. Collective effort, manifold results, with extensive reach. This is what we believe and perhaps it is true to a certain extent. But big achievements with amazingly far-reaching impact can come from the effort of an individual, too, so long as he is inspired enough; so long as he has the strength to overcome challenges and soldier on; so long as he has a dream and is determined to live it, against all odds.
“The legend who proved that nothing is impossible to achieve. His life gives a moral lesson that a small man, who has no money and no power can challenge a mighty mountain.”
Dasrath manjhi Also known as Mountain Man, was a poor labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India single handedly carved a path through a mountain. He gave 22 years of his life to his village and made a difference in the lives of the people of this small village in the state of Bihar.
Using only a hammer and chisel, Dashrath Manjhi, a landless farmer, carved a path through a mountain in the Gehlour Hills, Bihar just so that his village could have easier access to medical facilities. Directed by Ketan Mehta, Manjhi – The Mountain Man, is an upcoming documentary on the life of this man.
Let’s inspire ourselves to do the impossible and read some facts about the Mountain Man:
- The villagers had to travel 70 kilometres to reach to the nearest town to get medical attention
- In the year 1959, Dashrath Manjhi’s wife Falguni Devi died from lack of medical care
- In the memory of his wife, he carved the path in the Gehlour hills so that his village could have easier access to medical attention
- He worked day and night for 22 years and broke down the hill
- The path is 360 foot long and 25 foot deep.
- He shortened the distance from 70 kilometres to just one kilometre
- He worked from 1960 to 1982
- For his achievement, Manjhi became popularly known as the ‘Mountain Man’
- He died on August 17, 2007 at the age of 73, while suffering from gall bladder cancer
- To honour his achievements, a hospital in his name is also proposed for serving the villagers
- He was called the poor man’s Shah Jahan by filmmaker Ketan Mehta who has also made a documentary on his life
- His name was also proposed by the Bihar government for the Padma Shri award in 2006
- When a movie on his life was announced, Manjhi was on his deathbed. He put his thumb impression on an agreement and gave away “exclusive rights” to make a film on his life
- The mountain man was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar.
Padma Shri Jadav “Molai” Payeng is a Mishing tribe environmental activist and forestry worker from Jorhat, India. Over the course of several decades, he planted and tended trees on a sandbar of the river Brahmaputra turning it into a forest reserve. The forest, called Molai forest after him, is located near Kokilamukh of Jorhat, Assam, India and encompasses an area of about 1,360 acres / 550 hectares. In 2015, he was honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India.
While home to such a large population, rapidly increasing erosion over the last 100 years has reduced the land mass of Majuli Island to less than half. Spurred by the dire situation, Payeng transformed himself into a modern day Johnny Appleseed and singlehandedly planted thousands upon thousands of plants, including 300 hectares of bamboo.
Payeng’s work has been credited with significantly fortifying the island, while providing a habitat for several endangered animals which have returned to the area; a herd of nearly 100 elephants (which has now given birth to an additional ten), Bengal tigers, and a species of vulture that hasn’t been seen on the island in over 40 years. Gives you more than a little hope for the world, doesn’t it?
These great personalities of modern India are inspiration for all humankind, as contributed their whole life for what they aimed for. And they proved that strong determination and dedication can do much impact then riches and power.