For years, Saja Pahad village in Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district faced water shortage. Villagers found it difficult to quench the thirst of their cattle, but they did not know what to do. And the government, too, did nothing.
Then one day 15-year-old Shyam Lal decided to take his spade and dig a pond. Fellow villagers laughed at him. But the tribal teenager was determined.
Lal identified a spot in the forest in and kept digging — for 27 years, according to villagers.
The result is nothing less than that of Bihar’s mountain man, Dashrath Manjhi — a one-acre 15-feet deep pond, which is filled with the elixir of life.
“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers,” the 42-year-old beams proudly, adding that he did it for the welfare of the people and the cattle of his village.
Villagers hail him as a role model and saviour. Ramsaran Bargar (70), a …
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