Some Lesser Known Facts About Dashrath Manjhi
- Dashrath Manjhi was born in a Musahar family (Rat-catchers).
- He was married off in childhood. He ran away from his home in childhood and worked in a coal mine for seven years in Dhanbad.
- When he returned from Dhanbad, he fell in love with a girl named, Falguni Devi, and surprisingly, she was the same girl with whom he got married in childhood. One India
- Falguni’s father refused to send her daughter to Dashrath because he was jobless. They both eloped and started living as husband and wife. Till 1960, she gave birth to two children.
- During pregnancy, his wife fell off the mountain and due to delay in medical care, she died.
- In 1960, Manjhi made a firm determination of bringing the mountain down and carving a path through it to help people so that no one else could ever suffer this problem again. Initially, people used to taunt him and called him a mad but later, some people came to help him, one of them was Shivu Mishtri who gave Manjhi, a hammer and a chisel.
- To seek help from the government, he went to Delhi to meet the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. He did not have even 20 rupees for the ticket and illegally boarded on the train but TT threw him out of the train. He walked for more than 1000 km to Delhi.
- It took 22 years to break the mountain by a hammer and chisel. In 1982, finally, a path of 360 feet in length, 30 feet in height, and 25 feet in width came out and Dashrath rose to fame. He reduced the distance between two blocks of Gaya district Atri and Wazirganj from 55 km to 15 km.
- In 2006, the government of Bihar proposed his name for the Padma Shree award in the social service sector.
- Manjhi wanted a pucca (Paved) road over the way but he could not see this in his life. After his death, the government built the pucca road.
- When he went to meet the Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, he was offered the chair of Chief Minister graciously. When he died, he was given a State Funeral by the Government of Bihar. Gulf News
- In 2015, film director Ketan Mehta directed a film on his life, Manjhi – The Mountain Man, which was starred by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte.
- Ketan Mehta had promised that he would give 2 percent of the earning from the film to Dashrath Manjhi’s family but the family received only Rs 1.5 lakh in two installments. Freepress Journal
- In 2014, the first episode of season 2 of a TV show, Satyamev Jayate, hosted by actor Aamir Khan, was dedicated to Dashrath Manjhi. Aamir Khan met Dashrath Manjhi’s son, Bhagirath Manjhi and his wife, Basanti Devi, and promised to help Manjhi family financially. However, later, Basanti Devi died due to lack of timely medication and money.
- Bhagirath Manjhi said, if Aamir Khan fulfilled his promise, his wife would not die. India Today
- On 26 December 2016, a postal stamp was also released in his honour by India Post.
- The way, Dashrath Manjhi carved through the mountain, has now an entrance gate called “Dashrath Manjhi Dwar” (gate) in his honour. Moreover, a hospital is also named after him in his honour.
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