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Dasrath Manjhi took twenty-two years to build a road through the mountains in Bihar. The road is an amazing achievement for a landless farmer and a symbol of selfless service to mankind. He did it mainly by his own efforts, his drive and his indomitable determination. He did it for the sake of his fellow men, not expecting rewards of any sort. He did it using the simplest of tools-a chisel, rope and a hammer!

Dasrath Manjhi, 31 years old at the time, set out to carve a 1km-long path through a rocky hillside. He wanted life to be easier for his fellow villagers. The hill kept the villages in isolation, forcing people to trek through dangerous ground for hours just to reach the nearest market town. Children had to walk eight kilometers to reach school, but thanks to Dasrath Manjhi's handmade road, that distance has been reduced greatly. People from over 60 villages now use it every day.

'This hill has given us trouble and grief for centuries. The people asked the government many times to make a proper road through the hill, but nobody paid any attention. So I just decided I would do it all by myself,' Manjhi told the newspaper in 2007.

However, what empowered a single man to accomplish such an enormous task? For Dasrath, it was love for his wife. `My wife, Faguni Devi, was seriously injured while crossing the hill to bring me water. At that time, I worked on a farm across the hills. That was the day I decided to carve out a proper road through this hill,' the farmer said. Sadly, his beloved wife didn't get to see the fruits of his labour, as shortly after the accident she fell ill and died. She could have been saved if she was taken to the hospital in time. The tragic loss only made the ambitious man more focused on his task, and fellow villagers remember seeing him 'hacking at the hill day and night as if he were possessed'.

At the beginning, most people didn't take his project seriously and they ridiculed him and called him a madman for taking on such a Herculean task. As time went by, and as the unfazed farmer continued to split the troublesome hill in half, he started getting some help.

'Though most villagers taunted me at first, there were quite a few who lent me support later by giving me food and helping me buy my tools,' he remembered. Now, all the people of the Gaya district have nothing but gratitude for the 'mountain man' who single-handedly made their lives so much easier. He never received any recognition from the government for his accomplishment. 'What I did is there for everyone to see. When God is with you, nothing can stop you,' Dasrath Manjhi once said. 'I am neither afraid of any punishment from any government department for my work nor am I interested in any honor from the government.'

Dasrath can teach us many valuable lessons through his accomplishment. He proved by his contribution that patience is the greatest virtue that leads to success. After all, he took twenty-two years for his project. He proved to us that one can dream the impossible and yet make it come true. He also proved to us that it is really one's attitude that decides how we want to live. He didn't let his personal tragedy or his poverty come in the way of his project. He kept positive despite everyone's criticism and comments. He didn't lose heart even though he was called mad or crazy. He dared to be different.

   

Answer the following questions using complete sentences

 

1.

a) From paragraph 1, why did Dasrath Manjhi decide to build the mountain road ?

b) From paragraph 2, what was wrong with the present road ?

 

2.

From paragraph 4, why did Dasrath's wife meet with a tragic end ?

 

3.

a) From paragraph 5, how do you know that the villagers didn't support his work ?

b) From paragraph 6, who did Dasrath feel was on his side ?

 

4.

a) From paragraph 7, how do you know that Dasrath was a patient man ?

b) Which word in paragraph 7 shows Dasrath's attitude ?

c) From paragraph 7, what did the road represent to the people ?

 

5.

What kind of a person was Dasrath ? Give one quality and provide a reason to support your answer.

 

6.

Based on the passage given, write a summary of :

* why Dasrath decided to build this mountain road, and

* the invaluable lessons we learn from his act

Your summary must not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below

Dasrath decided to build a proper road through this hill ...

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Answers
 

1.

a) He did it for the sake of his fellow men.

b) People had to walk for hours on dangerous ground to reach their destination.

 

2.

She could not be taken to the hospital on time.

 

3.

a) They ridiculed him and called him mad.

b) He felt that God was on his side.

 

4.

a) He worked twenty-two years to complete the road.

b) Positive

c) It represented strong will and determination.

 

5.

Quality: Dasrath was a caring, considerate person.

Reason: He built a road so that others can reach their destinations easily.

  6.

Dasrath decided to build a proper road through this hill as his wife met with an accident on that hill and could not get treatment in time. The tragic loss made him more focused on his task and he worked fearlessly so that the villagers could cross the hill easily. He believed that God was with him. Dasrath taught us that patience is the greatest virtue that leads to success as he took twenty-two years for his project. Besides, he proved that one can make the impossible come true and that it is really one's attitude that decides how one wants to live. He didn't let his personal tragedy or his poverty stop him. He kept positive despite everyone's criticism and was not discouraged even when he was mocked. (130 words)

 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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