This Father Built a Road Through Mountains for His Kids

Jalandhar Nayak constructed an 8km stretch of road with just a pickaxe and crowbar so his children could come home from school more often.

Apr 6, 2018
Jalandhar Nayak and his family are the only residents of the remote village of Gumsahi in eastern India. (BBC India)

Jalandhar Nayak and his family are the only residents of the remote village of Gumsahi in eastern India. (SIMANCHAL PATTNAIK/BBC)

While the famous saying goes 'faith can move mountains,' one Indian father decided to stick to sheer determination to carve a road out of a mountain.

Jalandhar Nayak has been spending eight hours a day for the last two years digging an eight-kilometer-long road through the hilly terrain of Odisha in eastern India, so his children would have an easier time getting to their village when they come home from school.

Nayak’s family is the last one remaining in the village as all of its other residents left because it was isolated from the regional road network and lacked some basic facilities.

His three sons used to spend six hours walking from their boarding school in Phulbani to the village of Gumsahi where Nayak lives. Fed up with seeing his kids stumble down the dangerous route, the 45-year-old vegetable seller grabbed a chisel, a pickax, and a garden hoe and began digging a safer path.

Nayak's incredible work was recently featured in a news segment that attracted the attention of local officials who were so impressed by the man’s progress, they said they would be more than happy to finish the last four miles of the road in his honor.

Nayak had planned to work for another three years to build the remaining seven kilometers required to complete the 15-kilometer road – a job that has now been taken over by the local government. The local administrator even said that Nayak would be paid for the time he had spent building the path between Gumsahi village and the school in Phulbani.

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DAVID RUHM, EDITOR IN CHIEF
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.

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