Dashrath Manjhi

About Dashrath Manjhi

Who is it?: Mountain Man
Birth Year: 1934
Birth Place: Gehlaur, Indian
Cause of death: Cancer, food deficiency
Other names: The Mountain Man
Known for: Carving a mountain with only a hammer and a chisel, to make a path to the city from a rural village in Bihar.
Spouse(s): Falguni Devi

Dashrath Manjhi

Dashrath Manjhi was born on 1934 in Gehlaur, Indian, is Mountain Man. Dashrath Manjhi was a poor Indian laborer who earned the epithet, ‘Mountain Man’ for sculpting a track via a hillock with just a mallet and chisel. His carving out a trail through the ‘Gehlaur’ mound which took him 22 long years is a burning example of the extraordinary feat(s) an ordinary man is capable of achieving when the odds are stacked against him. Manjhi used to be a simple villager earning his livelihood by cutting trees in the jungle and selling the wood in the market. Dire poverty compelled him to flee his home and take up a job as a miner in one of the coalmines of Dhanbad, a city in Jharkhand known as the ‘Coal Capital of India’. After toiling in the coalmines for several years, he came to his native village and set up a home with his wife Falguni Devi. Falguni had to climb up and down the hillock everyday to carry lunch for her husband who’d be engaged either in cutting trees or working in the fields. While carrying lunch for Dashrath one day, a pregnant Falguni suffered a fall, injuring herself fatally, and subsequently dying. Extremely grief-stricken by the unfortunate event, Manjhi made up his mind to cut through the knoll to create a passageway so that nobody in future suffered the same fate his wife did.
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He completed the work in 22 years (1966–1983). 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, Manji's work has made life easier for people of the 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 Aug 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.


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 April 1, 2014.


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.


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 26th December 2016.

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