The man who broke the mountain – everyone said he was crazy, no one believed he could do it!

Dasrath Manjhi

A man named Dashrath Manjhi was collecting wood for his family on the other side of the mountain. It was long hard work, so his wife climbed over the mountain to bring him some food when she fell. She was hurt and the pot she was carrying broken.

Dashrath decided that was enough and that he was going to make it easier for people to cross the mountain. He sold the family’s three goats in order to buy a hammer, chisel and crowbar and decided to break his way through the mountain.

Everyone in the village thought it was impossible and wondered if Dashrath had gone mad. This was too big a task for one man, and how on earth could he continue to earn a living for his family? What single man could break down a mountain that stood over 300 feet high?

Dashrath could.
Every day he worked plowing the fields from 8am until 1pm in order to feed his family. From 4am until 8am and again from 1pm until late evening, he chiseled down the mountain so that he could feed his dream.
Finally, after 22 years of hard work, he was done. Dashrath had cut a road through the mountain. With just his hands and rudimentary tools, he had created a path 25 feet high, 30 feet wide and 360 feet across.

Dashrath didn’t stop there. He pushed for the road to be connected to the main road, so that the 60 villages of the Atri region could access it. He walked along the railway lines to New Delhi to submit a petition for his road to be tarmaced, as well as for a hospital for his people, a school and clean water.

Dashrath passed away from cancer in 2007, but his legacy and dream of a better community live on in the people he knew, and with every life that he helped make easier. He inspired those he knew and continues to inspire those who learn about his story. Dashrath believed that through his work he could uplift not just his family or the village, but the entire community. In doing so, he felt that he would never die.

Today, his friend Ramcharit Prasad manages the Dashrath Manjhi Welfare Trust to set up an employment training school in his honor. This school would educate and give skills training to everyone, especially to girls, to give them a chance to create a better life in Gelhour. Dashrath is used as an example of motivation for the children. Even when things seem impossible, if you believe in yourself you can create lasting change.