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‘Madman’ Digs Canal for Decades to Bring Water to Dry Indian Village, Enduring Jeers that Turned to Cheers


Visionaries are often accused of being a little crazy. Even for their wives. Such was the case for Laungi, a resident of the drought-ruined Gaya district of India in the eastern state of Bihar.

IndiaTV / YouTube

Loungi Bhuiya grew increasingly distressed as more and more farmers, including four of his own children, left Kolithwa in search of greener pastures. Taking a leaf from Don Quixote, Bhuiyan was determined not only to dream an impossible dream, but to make that dream come true by bringing water to his village in the hope of transforming barren land into arable land.

Inspired for the previous exploits of “Mountain Man” Dashrath Manjh, who, with just a hammer and chisel, spent 22 years carving a path through the mountain near the town of Gehlaur from 1960 to 1982, Bhuiya set out to dig an irrigation canal by hand to the nearest water source in the hills of Bangetha.

“I had heard of him and I thought if he could do it, why couldn’t I?” Bhuiya told Al Jazeera. “They all thought he was crazy.”

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“In August 2001, he decided to dig a channel from a natural water source in the Bagetha Sahwasi forest to the village,” said the village leader, Vishnupat Bhokta. the Tribune of India.

“The villagers generally brought their livestock to that source to give them a drink, which also provided sustenance for the animals that lived in the forest area. Loungi knew that the water source was sufficient to irrigate the villagers’ agricultural lands. However, it was a great challenge to bring water to the village. “

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Despite ridicule from his family and fellow villagers, Bhuiya, now 70, worked every day to make the four-foot-wide by three-foot-deep canal a reality. It took him almost 30 years to achieve his goal, but now everyone is benefiting from the fruits of his decades of work.

Bhuiya, whose reputation as a neighborhood eccentric has since become a local hero, was recently rewarded for his efforts with a new Mahindra tractor, which will be used to expand the canal.

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Of course, when the creator of Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes wrote: “When life itself seems crazy, who knows where the madness is? Maybe being too practical can be crazy. Giving up dreams, this can be crazy … The craziest of all is seeing life as it is and not as it should be ”, he was not referring to Bhuiya, but it could also have been.

(CLOCK IndiaTV’s video of this man’s incredible feat below).

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