The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has finally woken from deep slumber. Taking note of hard work by a poor villager who worked for 20 years to dig out a 5 km long canal on his own, the state government has now announced to complete his task.

A resident of Kothilwa village from Gaya district Laungi Bhuiyan worked for 20 years~from 2001 to 2020~constantly to dig out 5 km-long canal singlehandedly to bring water flowing down a nearby hill to his village.

It always gave him an unpleasant feeling whenever Laungi saw the co-villagers and youths migrating to big cities in search of livelihood due to lack of any employment opportunities.

A vast tract of farmlands also remained barren in absence of irrigation facilities. So Laungi finally decided to bring the water flowing five km away to his village through a channel but none helped him. One fine morning, he picked up spade, axe and other such digging implements in his hand and rushed to the hill to dig out the canal.

The people called him mad but he didn’t take note of them and continued digging out the canal with his frail body.

Eventually, he completed it this year and was able to bring water to his village and store it in a pond, bringing happiness among the villagers.

The rare achievement by a poor village with no support from others soon spread far and wide as prominent industrialist Anand Mahindra likened his works to “Taj Mahal” and “Pyramid”.

“Many glorious monuments have been built which have involved sweat & toil over decades. But those were usually the visions of absolute monarchs using the labour of their subjects. To me, this humble canal is no less glorious than the pyramids or the Taj,” tweeted Mahindra last week.

He even gifted a tractor to the poor villager who wished to have one to complete his task.

Apparently embarrassed by the villager getting ignored in his own state, the Nitish Kumar government has now announced the completion of the project started by Laungi. Water resources minister Sanjay Kumar Jha said the chief minister has ordered the authorities concerned to complete the task soon.

“We rushed a team of engineers to the spot for site inspection and complete the project,” the minister said.