Dasrath Manjhi is this Shajahan. Shahjahan had all resources of the Mughal Empire to build his TajMahal. Dasarath did all by himself, with his own sweat. The story had beginning some 22 years ago. Dasarath’s wife was seriously ill. He tried to take her to the nearest hospital, but a small hill came on his way. Because of the hill (Gehlor) he could reach the doctor in time. The distance was small if measured as the crow flies, but the hill came on the way. Dasarath couldn’t save her wife because of the hill. At least Dasarath thought that way. But then he thought this should and would not happen with anyone else of his village. Dasarath started on his mission. He must cut a tunnel through the hill. A hammer, a chisel and a pair of hands started working. It took him 22 years, but perseverance paid. Dasarath succeeded. And today at 60, Dasarath and his achievement has become a legend. He created a history of sort by digging a 3-km-long passage through the hill and connecting his village Gahluar (or Atri in Gaya district) to the outside world. Manjhi’s passage has cut the time for people to travel to the next village from six hours to one. It’s Manjhi’s Taj Mahal, the memorial of today’s Shahjahan to his wife. Media never even bothered to know her name.
And I am really happy to read the end of the story. Today there is chief minister in the state who could recognize his daring task. I was moved by this report.
“A frail old man had entered his durbar on Monday when Nitish Kumar looked up. The man at the helm of affairs stood up and offered his chair. (Manjhi sat on Nitish’s chair for a while.) After all, he was standing face to face with Dasrath Manjhi, the man who had moved a mountain. CM spent more than half an hour with Manjhi, hearing him.”
As a compliment to Dasarath, Nitish Kumar said, “Manjhi is a world-famous man who proved anybody can do anything if he has the will power and commitment,” as Manjhi, sat smiling.
Now, the passage is going to be the part of the state’s road construction programme of a metalled road. Manjhi will perhaps get the possession of the five acres of land that he had been granted many years ago.
As reported, “in the early Nineties, our hero had met the then Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, urging the administration to construct a proper road in his village. Mr Yadav had immediately told his officials to start work, but in the Samuel Beckett-country that is Bihar, nothing happened. The same routine was repeated during Rabri Devi’s tenure as CM.”
I only hope it would not happen this time and the promises would be kept without losing time.