Manjhi- The Mountain Man, a Ketan Mehta film releasing next month, is inspired by undying spirit of this landless labourer in Bihar, who in real life sliced through a 300-feet hill single-handedly to bring accessibility to his remote village.
Manjhi spent the next 22 years chipping the mountain with a hammer, chisel and crowbar. People called him a lunatic, but he carried on till a tiny cleft across a rock wall opened up one day. He then went on to widen the cleft. Some several years later, he managed to carve out a passage 360 feet long and 30 feet wide.
He died of cancer in 2007, but is still eulogized. Gehlour now has a road and a hospital, both named after him. A welcome gate is planned at the entrance of the village, to be named Dasrath Manjhi Dwar, says the Gaya district magistrate Sanjay Agarwal.