“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers.”
Most of us are great at complaining about the government’s apathy and its disregard for the public. But how many of us actually work towards making a substantial change?
This is the story of an ordinary man who has done something spectacular.
Shyam Lal, a resident of Saja Pahad village in Koriya district of Chhattisgarh has spent the last 27 years of his life digging up and enlarging a pond.
Shyam was all of 15 when he decided to do something about the drought that prevailed in his village, killing many of the villagers’ cattle and leaving their fields dry. He did not give in to the jeers and taunts that the villagers would often hurl at him. He took it upon himself to revive the pond.
“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers,” the now 42-year-old said proudly, adding that he did it for the welfare of the people and the cattle of his village, as reported by Hindustan Times.
As per report, until late last year, Saja Pahad was still in the dark with no electricity, communication lines, or proper road connectivity. A local member of the legislative assembly Shyam Bihari Jaiswal visited the village and rewarded Shyam with Rs 10,000 for his commendable work. District collector of Koriya, Narendra Duggal also promised his support to Shyam.
“I came to know about Shyam recently. His effort for his village is commendable, and I will go to his village to provide him all possible help,” he told HT. The state of Chhattisgarh has been reeling under drought year after year.
A similar story of sheer grit and determination that we recently covered is that of Jalandhar Nayak, a 45-year-old tribal man from the village of Gumsahi in Kandhamal district, who worked in gruelling eight-hour shifts every day for two years to single-handedly construct an 8-km-long stretch of road through hillocks to Phulbani town – all so that his children would have access to education.
Do read his story here.
These are stories of real people who by their actions become nothing less than superheroes. It is time we applaud these stories and make them our heroes.