Jalandhar Nayak: Odisha’s Mountain Man

Jalandhar Nayak,45, a vegetable seller from a remote village in the eastern Indian state of Orissa carved out an 8 km road through hillocks to help his children reach their school safely.

He began the herculean task 2 years ago using a hammer, digging bar and chisel and worked rigorously for 8 hours every day to ensure that his children are not deprived of education.

He has completed carving 8 kilometres out of 15 kilometres and plans to extend it by another 7 km in the next three years.

Mr Nayak, who himself has never been to school, told local media he hoped his sons would be able to come home more often on weekends or holidays once the road is completed.

He had decided to carve the road after he witnessed his children finding it difficult to walk on the narrow and stony path while going to their school.

‘My children find it difficult to walk on the narrow and stony path while going to their school. I often saw them stumbling against the stones and I decided to carve a road through the mountain so that they can walk freely.’said Mr Nayak

Following media reports, Kandhamal district Collector Brundha D called Nayak and assured him to provide different government benefits.

“I was impressed by his noble deed and dream to carve a road through the mountain. I met him today. He will be given payment under MGNRES scheme for all the days he has worked. Besides, I have directed the BDO to engage some more labourers and complete the road work soon,” said Brunda D.

“The district collector has assured me to complete the construction of the road to my village,” Nayak said.

The collector said they are planning to felicitate Nayak for his determination and hard work during the Kandhamal Utsav.

“We are thinking of felicitating Jalandhar Nayak during the Kandhamal Utsav for his strong determination to construct a road in this remote part of the state,” she said.

Written by Maria Tomy

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