Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chiseling on a road

There are a couple of ways to chisel your way to building a road.

Sydney, and much of urban Australia, paid through the nose for toll roads to make the daily grind of commuters more convenient, as Guambat has noted on more than one occasion.

My how that effort is just so unspeakably mercenary compared to the work of one man, Dashrath Manjhi.

Manjhi started off his extraordinary task in 1960, after his wife was injured while trekking up the side of one of the rocky footpaths leading from his remote village in India to take food to him where he was gathering wood. To reach the nearest hospital, he had to travel around the mountains, some 70 kilometers.

His quest to break a path through a small mountain to benefit the entire village is now legendary because he carved an entire road with hand tools, working for 22 years.

He sold the family’s three goats to buy the hammer and chisels and worked every day on the project to make it a successful. After plowing fields for others in the morning, he would work on his road all evening and throughout the night.

Armed with only a sledge hammer, chisel, and crowbar, he single-handedly began carving a road through the 300-foot mountain that isolated his village from the nearest town.

With sides 25 feet high, the road is 30 feet wide and 360 feet in length. Because of his singular dedication, the distance to public services was reduced from 70km to just one.

Read and see more of this remarkable man who selflessly chiseled a road and broke a mountain to provide a lasting benefit to his community here.

And read more of the remarkable men and women who selfishly chiseled their way to a road and broke a lot of  people to provide questionable benefits to their community here.

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