HIDDEN STORIES OF LOVE & ROMANCE PART 2: The Heartbreak that Split a Mountain
In 1982, a poor, honest, lower-caste labourer from a small, isolated village in India, put down his tools after 22 years, and looked back at what love had energised him to create. A hand-road carved through a 300-foot mountain.
For over two decades Dashrath Manjhi had been called a madman for his persistent quest. The backbreaking, hot, challenging labour, was not one he was being paid for. In fact, in order to purchase the hammer, crowbar and chisels that he needed, he had to sell his three goats. He would then continue to work as a labourer, ploughing other people’s fields in the day, before working on the road through the evening and night.
So what motivated him to start this task and what kept him going for 22 years?
Manjhi first put a hammer to chisel in 1960 after the death of his beloved wife. In 1959 his wife fell from a cliff near their home in the Gehlaur Hills. To get to the hospital on the other side of the mountain was about a 70 km trek! The heartbroken husband was forced to watch his love die.
This inspirational man took the grief that he had over the loss of his wife, with the everlasting love that he had for her, and diverted it into a project that would benefit his people, by giving them easier access to school, work opportunities and doctors.
When the project was finally completed, the road, which spanned 10 metres across and 110 metres in length, cut the distance for travel from the village to the public services on the other side, from 70 km to just 1km!
Sometimes when we think of love and especially romance, we think of chocolates and flowers and perhaps some jewellery. We think of gifts. Sometimes we think of service. A husband serving breakfast in bed for his wife. A lover cleaning the house for her partner after a long day. In what was a grand romantic gesture to his departed wife, Dashrath Manjhi also showed an unshakable love for his family and friends through the completion of an incredible and unselfish feat.
This article was brought to you by Rose Training Australia. Australia’s leading Marriage Celebrant qualifier.
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