After falling from a coconut tree 18 years ago, Shashi G of Thiruvananthapuram, became permanently disabled. The fall left his right arm and leg paralysed.
Shashi requested the panchayat of his village to give him a three-wheeled vehicle so that he will be able to start a small business and support his family. However he was refused on the grounds that the vehicle would be of no use to him since the area surrounding his house was devoid of a road.
He then requested for a road to be made but his petitions too were reduced to a topic of banter amongst the villagers.
At the age of 59, with a semi paralysed body, Shashi continued digging the plateau that near his house. After six hours of work everyday for three consecutive three years, he has now built a 200-meter ‘kaccha’ road on which small vehicles could be driven.
Speaking to NDTV, Shashi said “I just kept digging because people thought I couldn’t. I thought if I kept digging, I will get a road and it will also be physiotherapy.”
“Even if the panchayat doesn’t give me a vehicle, at least people will have a road in the future.” he added.
Shashi G and his wife were both in tears as they reminisced the past three years of hard work and struggle.
His wife said, “I begged him not to dig like this. If something happened to him again, we won’t have any money to treat him. We are heavily in debt. Now everyone talks about the road being built but what about us?”
Shashi said, even though the road is now complete, the panchayat has still not arranged for a three-wheeler for him.
The story of Shashi is similar to another heroic determination that the nation witnessed in the 1960s by the famous Manjhi of Jharkhand. In the 1960s, Manjhi single handedly craved a road through the mountain which his wife died trying to cross.