Know Everything About The Canal Man of India


Who doesn't know about Dashrath Manjhi - the Mountain Man from Bihar. His chisel and hammer which single handedly crushed down the mountain over 22 years to shorten travel between the Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town from 55 km to 15 km, saving thousands of lives in nearby villages. Likewise, Bihar has produced another gem, a very simple and determined man who risked his 30 years of life just to carve a 3 km long canal alone in the village of Kothilwa in Lahthua area of Gaya. He shed his sweat, invested his strength to irrigate the lands of his village community. His name is Laungi Bhuiyan

Where Is Kothilwa?

Kothilwa, a village where he live comes from is under Bankey Bazar block of Gaya district in Bihar. The distance between the district headquarters of Gaya to the village is 62 Kms. The village is surrounded by dense forests and mountains and often known to be the hub of Maoists. The people living there depend mainly in farming and animal husbandry for their livelihood. 

What Happened? 

Laungi Bhuiyan carved out 3 km long canal to bring water to the village pond for irrigation and animal use. It was a laborious and hefty task to do. The villagers never helped him. Many moved to towns looking for jobs while some left with the hope of making their lifestyle better. He never lost hope despite being alone. He stayed back. He was mentally prepared and committed. He used to take the cattle to the nearby forest and dig the canal. His family members and neighbours mocked him and tried to stop him. But he didn't. That's why, 30 years of his commitment and hard work has brought water to the village pond single - handedly. 

Why Did He Take This Decision? 

For years, Bhuiyan saw the rainwater flowing from the hills during monsoons. He thought of utilizing the water by carving out a canal and connecting it to the village pond. He believed that if he succeeded, the entire community would be benefitted. He thus decided and dug the canal to fetch rainwater from the mountains. After 30 years of his dedication, Kothilwa enjoys rainwater from the mountains. 

When the news of his marvelous work spread everywhere, he attracted a lot of attention from media and especially a businessman - Anand Mahindra. Anand Mahindra, for his incredible achievement, expressed his love and conveyed that Bhuiyan's canal is no less impressive than Taj Mahal or  the Pyramids. A local journalist asked Bhuiyan what he wanted to do with his life now. . 

The answer will leave you in awe! He answered,"I want nothing more in my life than a tractor to plough my field". Anand Mahindra not only responded to Bhuiyan's request but said it would be an honour for him to provide a tractor . 

The entire villagers were amazed, appreciated his work. The irony is, none of them lend a helping hand for the cause of the Kothilwa community. He stood above his personal interests and worked for the benefits of the society. It's because of all these factors Bhuiyan is widely remembered as the "Canal Man of India". Plutarch wisely said, "It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risks everything".

Bhuiyan is a good man and there's no doubt about it.

Written by - Mickel Lepcha

Edited by - Keerthana Lakshmi

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