A father in the state of Orissa in eastern India has constructed an 8-km long road on a mountain single-handedly. The man has constructed the road for his children who live away from home for their school. The man’s children used to visit him less often because of the difficult path that they need to travel to reach home. In the last two years, Jalandhar Nayak has been working to build a road so that his children can visit him frequently. He used to work 8 hours a day with his ax and crowbar to cut the rocks and move boulders.
Nayak himself has never received any formal education. He lives in a village which is 10kms away from the nearby school. Nayak has three sons and all of them are studying there. With a proper road, this distance can be traveled in very less time. However, as there were no roads, it took his sons 3 hours to reach home from school, after crossing five hills. Nayak told, “My children find it difficult to walk on the narrow and stony path while going to their school. I often saw them stumbling against the stones, and I decided to carve a road through the mountain so that they can walk freely.”
Nayak’s work was noticed by local authorities after he was featured on a local news channel. The officials said that will finish the remaining 7-km of the road that will connect the village to the town. Officials also said that Nayak will be paid for his work since the road is so fine that cars can drive on it easily. A local reporter who interviewed Nayak told, “I was impressed to find that he took great care to ensure that not a single tree was cut while building the road.”
Nayak said that he is happy that the government will complete the rest of the road. He also said that he has requested the government to provide his village with electricity and clean drinking water. He said that he looks forward to seeing his sons on the holidays and weekends once the government finishes the construction of the road.
National media is comparing Nayak to Dashrath Manhji of Bihar who constructed a road to the nearest town by overcoming a mountain gap. He started this after his beloved wife died in 1959 since she could not receive urgent medical care after an accident.