After making several rounds of government offices and departments and requesting a road for their village, a resident of Tulubi, a remote village in Odisha's Nayagarh district, took it upon himself to make one.
A tribal man, Harihar Behera, carved a three-kilometre long road from the mountain for his village, Hindustan Times reported. The road is not just walkable but motorable. This is the road he dreamt of and carved out in a period of 30 years with his brother, Krushna.
Authorities Called It Impossible
People travelling to the village often lost their route midway due to the absence of a proper path. The villagers had requested the district administration multiple times for a walkable road through the hills that would link their village to the main road. They had to travel kilometres, even for daily needs.
But they only faced rejection and were told it was next to impossible to create a road in the region. Reportedly, the residents had also met a minister who outrightly denied their request.
It was then Behera and his brother realised they had to take the matter into their hands. In their mid-twenties at the time, both carved the mountain after finishing the work in their fields.
The brothers first cleared the forest and blasted the rocks with small explosives for excavation. But after observing its effects on the environment, they stopped and started chipping the hills with hammers. Later, they were joined by a few villagers.
Behera faced several rough patches in his life; one of them was the death of his brother. Krushna died of kidney failure after a few years. But, this did not let down the 57-year-old's spirit, and he worked all by himself. For Behera, the helplessness and the need of the villagers pushed him to turn the prevailing situation into an opportunity.
"We got a road a few years ago, thanks to Harihar and his brother," resident Dinabandhu Jani said, according to Hindustan Times.
Speaking to the media, Harihar said having no roads prohibited them from reaching the nearby town and receiving medical emergencies.
Relatives visiting the villages would get lost in the forest due to zero directions, he added. Crossing the forest route was not easy, as it was dense and the hub of venomous snakes and several animals.
"The road is a small service from me for the society and Tulubi residents. Also, it is a tribute to my late elder brother Krushna from me," Harihar said, reported India Today.
Extending A Helping Hand
After completing the work in his village, Behera realised many such villages in the district were without roads. So, he decided to extend his help, but the administration stepped in this time.
Lauding Behera's work, Sub-Collector Lagnajit Rout assured an all-weather road for his village.
"Only a man possessed can keep on doing such things for 30 years. Several such villages in the district are not easy to travel to due to the hills. The road construction from Rohiba village on Bhanjanagar road to Tulubi village will be completed soon," Rout told Hindustan Times.