Loungi Bhuiyan, Bihar's own 'Canal Man' who single-handedly cut out a 5-km-long canal to bring water to his native village Kolithwa, has won all-round applause for his toil of 20 years, with the Mahindra Group now gifting him a tractor.
Siddharth, an authorised distributor of Mahindra tractors in Gaya, and Managing Director of Mahindra Tractors Siddhanath presented Loungi a tractor from the company's showroom on Saturday. Abhay Mani, Bihar Regional Manager of the tractor company, was also present on the occasion.
Mahindra's Bihar state head Ashish Srivastava told reporters: "Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra in a tweet had promised to deliver the tractor to Loungi, which was immediately fulfilled. We are fortunate that a warrior like him will now use a Mahindra tractor to complete the remaining task."
He said that a hardworking person like Loungi was an inspiration for the society.
A visibly happy Loungi said the widening of the canal can now be done easily and fast with the help of the tractor.
Loungi, whose village falls in Bihar's Gaya district, dug up the 5-km-long canal. The feat of Loungi, whose Kolithwa village is situated on the border of Imamganj and Bankebazar blocks, makes one recall the toil of 'Mountain Man' Dashrath Manjhi, another native of Bihar who cut a road through a hill near his village in 22 years.
Loungi said he was pained by the migration of youths from Kolithwa, which was drought-prone as it did not get to retain sufficient rainwater for irrigation due to its geographical location. The village is around 80 km from Gaya city, surrounded by forest area.
Since there were no job avenues except agriculture, a large number of village's youths migrated to bigger cities in search of livelihood. Bhuiyan was unhappy that mostly women and children were left behind in his village.
In August 2001, he decided to dig a canal (Paain in local language) from a natural water source in Bagetha Sahwasi forest to the village. The villagers took their cattle generally to that source for watering, which also provided sustenance to the animals living in the forest area.
Loungi knew that the water source was enough to irrigate the agricultural land of the villagers. However, it was a great challenge to bring water into the village. After working relentlessly for 20 years, he managed to dig the canal that is four-feet wide and three-feet deep.
Dashrath Manjhi cut out a road in the middle of mountain in his native village Gehlaur with just a hammer and chisel in 22 years from 1960 to 1982. Due to his untiring efforts, the distance between Gahlaur and Wazirganj was reduced from 55 km to just 15 km.
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