A high school in Kandhamal (Wikimedia Commons/MKar)

Indian man spends two years building 8km road for children to get to school

11 January 2018 | By Joe Quirke 1 Comment

A vegetable seller in the eastern Indian state of Odisha has spent two-years cutting an 8km road through a mountain to connect his village with the local town.

Jalandhar Nayak worked eight hours a day with a hammer and chisel to create the path in order to make it easier for his three children to go to school in Kandhamal.

The 45-year-old vegetable seller, who was himself unable to access education when growing up, plans to carve out another 7km of road to extend the route over the next three years.

Nayak is entitled to be paid for his labour under India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. 

A local government official is quoted by Indian news network Times Now as saying “I am overwhelmed with Nayak’s effort and determination to cut mountains to build a road.” 

Similarities can be drawn between Nayak and “Mountain Man” Dashrath Manjhi, who created a 110m long path over 22 years in India’s Bihar state and, similarly armed with a hammer and chisel.

Nayak may be offered assistance finishing the road by workers employed by the state.

Image: A high school in Kandhamal (Wikimedia Commons/MKar)