| Aamir Khan meets family members of Mountain Man late Dashrath Manjhi at Gehlaur in Gaya on Tuesday. Picture by Suman |
In a body-fitted tee and jeans, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan descended at Gaya’s Gehlaur to make Mountain Man a television cult.
Surrounded by thousands of residents, Aamir walked into a sea of people on Tuesday around 1.30pm to pay tribute to the man who “inspires” him — Dashrath Manjhi. The Mountain Man is the subject of the first episode of Aamir-hosted Satyamev Jayate-II.
“Last year, we ended our season with Dashrath Manjhi’s untold story. He was a single-minded person who through his sheer willpower paved a road, which was an impossible task. He is a source of inspiration for everyone. He inspires me to perform even the toughest tasks,” said Aamir.
Satyamev Jayate-II would start from March 2. The first episode would feature Manjhi and his humongous task of carving out a road through a hill.
The security for Mr Perfectionist was tight. “We have been sanitising the area for the past two days. Since Gaya is a Naxalite-hit zone we had to this. The district police had sufficiently deployed security personnel,” said Nishant Kumar Tiwary, the senior superintendent of police, Gaya.
Among the people who had gathered in Gehlaur to meet the star was son of the Mountain Man, Bhagirath Manjhi (60) and his wife Basanti Devi. They work as cooks in a primary school for just Rs 1,000 a month. It is difficult for him to look after a family of 15. “Many people came, spoke, made films and documentaries on my father. But nothing has changed. I still struggle for two square meals. We have not got any support from the government as promised earlier,” said Manjhi.
Aamir spoke to Dashrath Manjhi’s family for more than half-an-hour. “I felt low when I came to know about the poor condition of the family. We shall help them in every possible manner. I shall send my team to their place again to figure out what they need and how we can help them,” said Aamir.
For many in Gehlaur, around 35km northeast of Gaya, Dashrath was the only hero till they saw Aamir on Tuesday. Special arrangements were made at Manjhi’s house in Dashrath Nagar for the star.
“We cooked maurwa roti, kurti daal, aaloo-gobhi ki sabzi and chawal for Aamirji. My husband and I took off from work to meet him,” said Basanti Devi, wife of Bhagirath.
Aamir, however, apologised for not visiting his hero’s house. “I am feeling very bad that after such arrangements I couldn’t visit their place,” he said.
After a brief news conference, Aamir left Gehlaur around 2.30pm.