The remarkable true story of an Indian man who spent 22 years chiselling his way through a mountain out of love for his dead wife becomes a Bollywood film
The remarkable true story of an Indian man who spent 22 years chiselling a massive gap in a mountain out of love for his dead wife hit cinema screens today.
Dashrath Manjhi, an impoverished labourer from India's lowest caste, embarked on the monumental endeavour after his wife Falguni died in 1959 because she had not been able to receive urgent medical care in time having been involved in an accident.
Getting to the nearest town involved going around the mountain, a 55-kilometre (34-mile) journey, and Manjhi didn't want other villagers to suffer the same fate.
Working day and night he chipped away at the mountain in Gehlour, in eastern Bihar state, using just a hammer and a chisel, to reduce the distance to 15 kilometres by cutting a direct path through rocks.
It took him until 1982 to create the path, which is around 110 metres (360 feet) long and in some places more than nine metres wide.
'The story is beautiful and compelling. He made the impossible possible and his work has helped thousands,' said Bollywood star Nawazuddin Siddiqui
He plays the lead role in Manjhi - The Mountain Man.
'The most difficult aspect was to capture the madness. His work is extraordinary. He should be an inspiration and an icon for the youth,' Siddiqui told AFP.
Manjhi died from cancer of the gall bladder in 2007, aged 73, and was recognised with a state funeral in Bihar.
He has been quoted as saying that when he first started breaking the mountain, locals thought he was crazy but later they changed their minds.
Even after Manjhi had finished, it took the local government another three decades to convert it into a tarred road.