For years, he was called a madman for toiling away on the rocks. But Dashrath Manjhi was not crazy. 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.
Manjhi started off his extraordinary task in 1960, after his wife was injured while trekking up the side of one of the rocky footpaths. To reach the nearest hospital, he had to travel around the mountains, some 70 kilometers.
The laborer from Gehlour Hills in Bihar, India wanted his people to have easier access to doctors, schools, and opportunity. 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.
People told Manjhi that he wouldnt be able to do it, said Dahu Manjhi, the mans nephew, that he is a poor man who just needs to earn and eat.
He sold the familys three goats to buy the hammer and chisels and worked every day on the project to make it successful. After plowing fields for others in the morning, he would work on his road all evening and throughout the night.