Sashi G, a 59-year-old coconut tree climber, suffered a terrible fate when he fell off a tree and ended up bed-ridden and paralysed. This was 18 years ago. Over time, he regained some movement and later wanted to start his own business. But this meant that he needed a vehicle to commute and the problem was that the village had no concrete roads for any vehicle to be useful. When all pleas for help were ignored, Sashi decided to take things in his own hands and accomplished what seemed impossible — in three years, he personally dug 200 metres of proper road in the village.
According to a report in NDTV, Sashi had originally approached his panchayat for a three-wheeler so he could start his own business. His request was turned down. The panchayat leaders noted that since there were no “pukka” roads leading to his house, there is will be no space for him to ride the vehicle even if one was procured. Moreover, nobody believed that he was capable because of his disability.
Taking this as a challenge, he decided to build a road himself. He started spending six hours every day digging through a plateau.
Image for representation. Photo source: Flickr
The plateau posed the biggest challenge for the villagers and they had to climb over it. Due to his efforts today, they now have a road that is suitable for vehicles.
“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,” Sashi told NDTV.
In a video segment, he shows how he went about actually setting up the road despite the obstacles in his way.
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In 2016, a similar story emerged when Bapurao Tajne, a Dalit labourer from a village in Maharashtra, single-handedly built a well after his wife was not allowed to draw water from the village well. Sashi is now hoping that the government will recognise his effort and rewards him with a vehicle. He just wants a chance to live his life and be productive.