Need generates Desire, and when the desire is strong enough to manifest in reality, it ends up coming to everyone’s vision. This is the story of Dhaneswar Pradhan, who is building a 6-kilometer road with his family to connect his remote village to the only motorable route passing nearby through Kerubadi in Odisha’s Daringbadi block.
So, what persuaded Dhaneswar to take on such a massive project?
A 42-year-old tribal lives in Bandopanka village, a small secluded village in Odisha’s Kandhamal district’s dense woods. People in this impoverished village have been primarily reliant on forest resources due to a lack of electricity, pucca homes, proper road connectivity, and tap water. Although the fact that it has been 75 years since independence, this village of 12 families has remained outside of the government’s orbit. The residents frequently have to trek up Badepanga’s hill to sell their handmade goods to generate some income and live a decent life. But was it enough?
Dhaneswar was pressed by his village’s persistent problem to approach several administrations in the hope of receiving assistance. But the local administration’s indifference, as well as his villagers’ unwillingness to give up their paid days for this voluntary effort, left him with no choice.
“Although the task appeared to be difficult at first, my intention was solid, clear, and wise for the benefit of my village. The only way I can ensure a prosperous future for my people is to connect my village to Kerubadi. So my wife, children, and I poured everything we had into building this road.”
They had been coming every day for two months to clear the patch until their work was noticed by two social workers who got lost in the woods and eventually saw the family working there. Their noble intentions swayed the two, prompting them to bring the issue to the administrative level.
“I am pleased that the administration has taken an interest in this matter and has promised to assist me with the construction. I wish the government would take further steps to develop our village.”
Dhaneswar has nearly completed three-fourths of the total construction. His efforts and good intentions are admirable, and he exemplifies an important lesson: If one believes in one’s own ability, a path can be built out of a mountain of problems.