We use the phrase that it seemed like a mountain to get over.

This is usually when things seem beyond us, can’t see our way clear and I just don’t know what to do?

So what do you do when the problem literally is a mountain?

Do you go around it, over it or even remove it!

There is a story of Dashrath Manjhi who can inspire us to face up to anything.  When his wife died because he was unable to get her to the hospital to receive urgent medical care, Manjhi did what seemed impossible.

He spent 22 years chiselling a hole or opening in a mountain so the villagers could get to the local hospital to receive the medical care they needed.

People laughed and made fun of him but this just made him more determined to continue his work. He was famously known as the Mountain Man who single-handedly carved a path through a mountain.

In doing this he gave 22 years of his life to his village and he made a difference.

Using just a hammer and a chisel this landless farmer carved this path through the Gehlour Hills, to make life easier for his fellow villagers with access to medical services.

Let’s inspire ourselves to do the impossible and read some facts about the Mountain Man:

  • The villagers had to travel 70 kilometres to reach the nearest town to get medical attention
  • In the year 1959, Dashrath Manjhi’s wife Falguni Devi died from lack of medical care
  • In the memory of his wife, he carved the path in the Gehlour hills so that his village could have easier access to medical attention
  • He worked day and night for 22 years and broke down the hill
  • The path is 360 foot long and 25 foot deep.
  • He shortened the distance from 70 kilometres to just one kilometre
  • He worked from 1960 to 1982
  • For his achievement, Manjhi became popularly known as the ‘Mountain Man’
  • He died on August 17, 2007 at the age of 73, while suffering from gall bladder cancer
  • To honour his achievements, a hospital in his name is also proposed for serving the villagers
  • He was called the poor man’s Shah Jahan by filmmaker Ketan Mehta who has also made a documentary on his life
  • His name was also proposed by the Bihar government for the Padma Shri award in 2006
  • When a movie on his life was announced, Manjhi was on his deathbed. He put his thumb impression on an agreement and gave away “exclusive rights” to make a film on his life
  • The mountain man was given a state funeral by the Government of Bihar.

We marvel at this man and what he achieved as we do with Jesus 2,000 years ago.

Dashrath and Jesus were both poor, owned no land, were laughed at and ridiculed even for doing good, doing the unimaginable, both driven by love Dashrath his wife, Jesus his Father, and both with a love of people.

We look back in time to Jesus yet Dashrath died only ten years ago.  He gives us great inspiration today to face our problems and overcome them especially when they are faced with love.

“Lord thank you that you live on in so many people who inspire us to keep going in the power of your Holy Spirit.”

Who keep us going to even achieve the unimaginable.

Fr Michael Morley

Parish Priest

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