The Mountain Man: A Source of Inspiration

Mar 9, 2018-

Have you ever questioned your strength? Or the strength of your resolve? Human beings possess an unshakable will but it depends on the individual to see it through. Do you know the story of Dashrath Manjhi? His was a life full of struggle and hardships but these did not deter him from achieving his goal.

Dashrath Manjhi was an indigent laborer from Gehlaur village near Gaya in Bihar, India. He ran away from his native place as a juvenile  to work as a coal miner. When he returned to his village, he got married to Falguni Devi. The two had loved each other and every day she would traverse the Gelhaur hills to bring him food while he worked.

One day, as she was crossing  the hills, she slipped and fell, fatally injuring herself. Manjhi was greatly shocked and tormented by this. The day Falguni Devi died, Manjhi made up his mind to carve a path through the hills that had killed her—in spite of the fact that a literal mountain stood in his way. And so the bereaved man embarked on a seemingly impossible mission. “No obstacle is mighter than your determination,” he had said and he went on to prove this. Manjhi toiled around the clock, hacking at the mountain and after 22 years of hard work, he was able to carve a path 110 m long, 9.1 m wide and 7.6 m deep through the hillock. It is mindboggling to know that he did so with just a hammer and a chisel. For this feat Manjhi became known henceforth as “The Mountain Man.”

“When I started this task people had called me insane but that only steeled my resolve,” Manjhi had said. His stubborn determination teaches us that we too should not be deterred from our task, whatever it is—it is possible.

Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you.

Although the number of people obstructing you may be more, there are also people who help you to succeed. “Though most villagers dismissed me at first, there were also people who helped me buy tools for my work and food to replenish me,” Manjhi had said. In his own laconic way, Manjhi had spoke of the peril, brutality and mundane hindrances he had to face before accomplishing his goal.

Dashrath Manjhi, on his own was able to accomplish something that may never be equaled. Although he is no more, he will be remembered by those who have seen or heard of his unforgettable feat. When alive, he might have been the human incarnation of stalwart resoluteness and stick-to-itiveness. If I could ever apply myself to my goals with Manjhi’s sense of determination, I would consider myself blessed.

- Jitendra Mandal

Grade 8

Swastik Pathshala, Mirchaiya, Siraha

Published: 09-03-2018 08:27

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