by Nancy Churnin, Illustrated by Danny Popovici
Dashrath Manjhi is a known man in India, thanks to the articles published, documentaries made and mostly because of a Hindi movie made on his life.
My boys got a chance to read biography of this inspiring man through this book. His life is an inspiring story of persistence and perseverance, to never give up on your dream!
Manjhi’s village, Gehlaur, was “deep in the heart of India” and was separated from the neighboring village by a mighty mountain. In his village nothing grows, while in the other village rice and wheat flowered and flourished . Thus people were happy and affluent there, which was not the case in his viilage. Manjhi climbs to the top of the mountain to ponder over this.
When he throws a stone from atop, it triggers a sprinkle of powder and that gives him an idea. He trades his 3 goats for a hammer and a chisel and gets to work, chipping away the rocks.
At first the other villagers found him to be “crazy” to be doing what seemed impossible. But Majhi perseveres, eventually others started supporting him by chipping away the mountain while he was resting. They also provided him food and newer supplies to accomplish this mountainous task.
His chant “Hold. Aim. Swing.” carries him forward and after 22 years he has indeed moved a mountain.
Instead of 2 villages there is one village now “sharing water, hopes, dreams”. What was earlier a 34 mile hike from one village to the other was now a 9 mile walk.
Popovici’s illustrations are nicely composed in orange , yellow and brown hues.
Nancy Churchin’s words are as simple as Manjhi’s life, she managed to keep our interest alive with just 2 characters, Manjhi and the mountain.
There are so many wonderful life lessons to learn from this book.
It was a great a story to show how people have to toil hard for years for things that we take for granted. We all have our ‘mountains’ to move, we may be ridiculed or made fun of. What can help us move these mountains are dreams, effort and time.
A great inspirational book, also a great example of growth mindset.
Dasrath Manjhi (1934-2007)
pic source Hindustan Times