Society
Society

Man Carves A 5-Mile Road In Mountain For His Kids (Photo)

| by Selena Darlim

Many parents say they will "move mountains" for the well-being of their children. One man actually did.

Vegetable merchant Jalandhar Nayak's family are the last remaining inhabitants of a remote village several miles away from any amenities.

According to The Guardian, his three sons were spending about three hours each day to navigate the rocky path to their school. Rather than moving closer, as the other residents had done, Nayak decided to shorten his kids' route.

India TV reports that the 45-year-old father spent eight hours each day carving a path through a mountain with just a pickax and a hoe. In two years, Nayak has completed 5 miles of the road.

"My children find it difficult to walk on the narrow and stony path while going to their school," Nayak told Kalinga TV, according to India TV. "I often saw them stumbling against the stones and I decided to carve a road through the mountain so that they can walk freely."

The Indian government has offered to pay Nayak in accordance with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Local officials say they will complete the remaining 4 miles of road, from Gumsahi village to the main town of Phulbani in India's Odisha state, reports BBC.

Nayak said he was "extremely happy" that the government would complete the path, which will enable his children to visit home more frequently on weekends and holidays. He also requested the government provide his village with drinking water and electricity.

Indian news outlets have been impressed by Nayak's efforts. India TV compares him to Dasrath Manjhi, a "mountain man" who single-handedly built a 360-foot-long road in 22 years.

Manjhi was inspired to begin his undertaking after his wife suffered injuries while crossing the mountain to bring him lunch, reports The Guardian. His road shortened the route between his village and the other by 26 miles.

Several films were made to document Manjhi's endeavor. He was honored with a state funeral when he died in 2007.

Now that video of Nayak toiling and moving boulders has been aired on national TV, it's likely he will receive a similar treatment as Manjhi.

"I was impressed to find that he took great care to ensure that not a single tree was cut while building the road," said Sibashakti Biswal, a local reporter and Nayak's first interviewer, according to the BBC.

Brundha D, a local administrator, told reporters Nayak's task and determination left him "spellbound."

Sources: The Guardian, India TV, BBC / Featured Images: Hyena/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Simanchal Pattnaik/BBC, ILRI/Flickr

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