Denied help by panchayat, semi-paralysed Kerala man digs for three years to give his village a road
While everyone knows Dashrath Manjhi – the “Mountain Man” who carved a path deep through a hillock using only a hammer and chisel in 22 years – there are very few who know of Sashi G, a 59-year-old partially paralysed coconut climber from Kerala, who has been digging a road outside his home every day for the past three years.
Sashi was confined to bed after falling from a coconut tree 18 years ago in Thiruvananthapuram. With years passing by, his right arm and leg were left paralysed, making it extremely difficult for him to walk.
To get his life back on track, he pleaded with village panchayat for a three-wheeler so that he could start a small business. But he was reminded by the authorities that there is no road on the rural outskirts of the city – just a narrow trail.
When Sashi requested for a road, his request was rejected with mocking laughter.
“The Panchayat told me there is no point of giving you a vehicle as you are paralysed. They assured me a road which never happened,” Sashi was quoted by a news channel as saying.
With no hopes left, Sashi finally picked his pick-axe and started digging. And, he hasn’t stopped since then.
The 59-year-old has been digging at a plateau for six hours every day that people were forced to climb and now he has given the village a 200-metre ‘kaccha’ road which is wide enough for small vehicles.
“I just kept digging because people thought I couldn't. I thought if I kept digging, I will get a road and it will also be physiotherapy. Even if the panchayat doesn't give me a vehicle, at least people will have a road in the future,” he said.
Sashi neighbours are grateful to him for the road as they don’t have to climb the huge plateau now.