Lal’s work comes as a relief at a time Chhattisgarh is suffering from drought-like situation this year.(HT Photo)
Lal’s work comes as a relief at a time Chhattisgarh is suffering from drought-like situation this year.(HT Photo)

Real hero: Why this man dug a pond for 27 years all by himself in Chhattisgarh

Lal identified a spot in the forest and kept digging — for 27 years, villagers say.
By Ritesh Mishra | Hindustan Times, Raipur
UPDATED ON AUG 28, 2017 11:53 AM IST

For years, Saja Pahad village in Chhattisgarh’s Koriya district faced water shortage. Villagers found it difficult to quench the thirst of their cattle, but they did not know what to do. And the government, too, did nothing.

Then one day 15-year-old Shyam Lal decided to take his spade and dig a pond. Fellow villagers laughed at him. But the tribal teenager was determined.

Lal identified a spot in the forest in and kept digging — for 27 years, according to villagers.

The result is nothing less than that of Bihar’s mountain man, Dashrath Manjhi — a one-acre 15-feet deep pond, which is filled with the elixir of life.

“No one helped me in my work, neither the administration nor the villagers,” the 42-year-old beams proudly, adding that he did it for the welfare of the people and the cattle of his village.

Villagers hail him as a role model and saviour. Ramsaran Bargar (70), a local who witnessed Shyam toil through the years, says, “The pond is now used by everyone and we are all thankful to him.”

Read more: Battling unrelenting drought, Kerala women dig 180 wells to quench thirst

Sources said Saja Pahad, which lies near a hillock under Chirimiri, still does not have electricity or proper road connectivity. The only source of water for the villagers is a couple of wells.

On Friday, MLA Shyam Bihari Jaiswal, who represents Mahendargarh constituency, under which Saja Pahad falls, visited the village and presented Shyam with Rs 10,000 for his efforts.

District collector of Koriya, Narendra Duggal has also promised his support to Lal.

“I came to know about Shyam recently. His effort for his village is commendable and I will go to his village to provide him all possible help,” he said.

Read more: Madhya Pradesh farmer digs 90-feet-deep well in fight against drought

Lal’s efforts match those of Dashrath Manjhi, who carved a path 110m long, 9m wide through a hillock using only a hammer and chisel over 22 years (1960–1983), reducing the distance between Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya town in Bihar from 55 km to 15 km.

Lal’s work comes as a relief at a time Chhattisgarh is suffering from drought-like situation this year. The rainfall has been 10% short of the average over 10 years. District collectors have been directed to ensure proper utilisation of irrigation facilities.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
India on Monday reported a fresh surge in cases after 18,599 infections were reported in the lat 24 hours. (HT Photo)
India on Monday reported a fresh surge in cases after 18,599 infections were reported in the lat 24 hours. (HT Photo)

India's Covid-19 tally rises after 18,599 fresh cases recorded in last 24 hours

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:31 AM IST
India’s total active caseload stood at 1.88 lakh after six states across the country reported a surge in daily Covid-19 cases.
Close
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting ahead of West Bengal Assembly Polls, at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)
(PTI03_07_2021_000175A)(PTI)
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting ahead of West Bengal Assembly Polls, at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra) (PTI03_07_2021_000175A)(PTI)

On International Women’s Day, PM Modi salutes ‘indomitable Nari Shakti’

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:25 AM IST
Defence minister Rajnath Singh also hailed the role of women in strengthening the foundations of the nation.
Close
Since job requirements are not uniform, the ministry will bilaterally work out the details of skilling needs with the destination countries. (File photo)
Since job requirements are not uniform, the ministry will bilaterally work out the details of skilling needs with the destination countries. (File photo)

Healthcare to generate jobs, govt to focus on skilling for employment abroad

UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:32 AM IST
The work of imparting skills is carried out by the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship (MSDE), which has identified 300,000 jobs in the health sector alone in countries such Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Singapore
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(PTI)

PM-led panel to commemorate 75 years of India's Independence to meet today

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:52 AM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Parliament House(HT_PRINT)
Parliament House(HT_PRINT)

Parliament LIVE: Second leg of Budget session begins as Rajya Sabha reconvenes

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:34 AM IST
As the Parliament session is being held amid the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccination centres were established for the members of Parliament and their family.
The committee of 259 members is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The committee of 259 members is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Panel to commemorate 75 years of India's Independence to hold 1st meeting today

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:23 AM IST
The celebrations are proposed to be launched 75 weeks prior to August 15, 2022, on March 12, 2021, which is the 91st anniversary of the historic Salt Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi.
Close
Representational Image. (HT file)
Representational Image. (HT file)

Light rain, thunderstorms likely over parts of NW India till Tuesday

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:22 AM IST
Maximum temperatures are in the range of 35-39°C over most parts of the country except over Indo-Gangetic plains where temperatures are in the range of 30-32°C and over Northeast India where temperatures are in the range of 22-25°C
Close
Malls and cinema halls will be shut during the weekends while eateries and hotels have been allowed to operate at 50% of their seating capacity. (HT File photo)
Malls and cinema halls will be shut during the weekends while eateries and hotels have been allowed to operate at 50% of their seating capacity. (HT File photo)

Maharashtra’s Aurangabad in ‘partial lockdown’. Here’s a look at all curbs

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:16 AM IST
The central government has also sent a high-level team to Maharashtra to review the surveillance, control and control measures in place in view of the rising cases.
Close
A nurse carries coolers with vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 as elderly people are being inoculated.(AFP Photo )
A nurse carries coolers with vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 as elderly people are being inoculated.(AFP Photo )

Covid-19 LIVE: India's sees 18,599 fresh cases, 97 deaths in last 24 hours

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 09:33 AM IST
India's vaccination drive is being conducted in full swing as 2,09,22,344 people have been inoculated so far, health ministry data on Sunday showed.
A low-intensity device exploded outside the Israel embassy on January 29.(HT Photo/Sanjeev Verma)
A low-intensity device exploded outside the Israel embassy on January 29.(HT Photo/Sanjeev Verma)

Iran guided Israeli embassy blast through local module, upsets India: Officials

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 07:02 AM IST
The bomb that went off outside the Israeli embassy on January 29 was not a crude device. Investigators have found that it was triggered by a local module using a remote and could have been put together using the deadly PETN or ANFO. The final lab reports are awaited.
Close
A senior citizen lost his life on Tuesday in a road accident. The victim, identified as Vasudev Anandram Chijwani (65) was a resident of Kumar Prasanna society, Wanowrie.(REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
A senior citizen lost his life on Tuesday in a road accident. The victim, identified as Vasudev Anandram Chijwani (65) was a resident of Kumar Prasanna society, Wanowrie.(REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Truck collides autorickshaw in Maharashtra; 5 killed, eight injured

PTI, Beed
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:43 AM IST
All the deceased, including two children, were travelling in the autorickshaw to Beed from Wadvani tehsil when the truck rammed into it around 8 pm, a police official said.
Close
Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has been entrusted with the task of Ram temple construction in Ayodhya.(REUTERS file photo)
Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has been entrusted with the task of Ram temple construction in Ayodhya.(REUTERS file photo)

Ram Temple likely to be ready in 3 years, says Trust

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:27 AM IST
Earlier on Saturday, Rai, had said the door-to-door collection drive for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya has stopped, but devotees who missed the contribution drive can still make their contributions through the trust website.
Close
He said that in light of recent developments, the CM had lost credibility and he is not fit to continue in power.(ANI Photo)
He said that in light of recent developments, the CM had lost credibility and he is not fit to continue in power.(ANI Photo)

Amit Shah attacks CM over gold smuggling case

By Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 03:40 AM IST
  • Addressing the concluding session of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Surendran’s “Vijay Yatra” in the state capital, Shah posed five questions to the CM.
Close
MK Stalin said he aspired to bring Tamil Nadu among the top three agricultural states in terms of cash crops.
MK Stalin said he aspired to bring Tamil Nadu among the top three agricultural states in terms of cash crops.

DMK finalises seat-sharing deal with seven allies in TN

By Divya Chandrababu, Hindustan Times, Trichy
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 03:37 AM IST
  • Addressing a state conference for its cadres on the outskirts of Trichy, Stalin said a DMK government will give 1,000 every month to housewives and create a million jobs every month.
Close
Tewari, one of the 23 leaders who wrote a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking internal reform in the party, addressed the Kerala meeting at the invitation of the Congress’s ally, Indian Union Muslim League.
Tewari, one of the 23 leaders who wrote a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi seeking internal reform in the party, addressed the Kerala meeting at the invitation of the Congress’s ally, Indian Union Muslim League.

After Jammu G23 meet, Tewari hits campaign

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Tmes, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 03:17 AM IST
  • The meeting came a week after Tewari and other letter writers, the group has been tagged the G23, addressed a meeting in Jammu in honour of retired MP Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP