There’s a really good thread on Quora: what are the most gripping stories in human history?
The top-rated story is about Dashrath Majhi. The nearest town to get treatment for his wife was 70km. She died as a result of her illness and Majhi decided that distance would no longer be the reason that some one that did not get the help they needed:
Dashrath Manjhi’s claim to fame has been the herculean task of single-handedly carving a 360-foot-long (110 m), 25-foot-high (7.6 m) and 30-foot-wide (9.1 m) road by cutting a mountain of Gehlour hills with a hammer, chisel and nails working day and night for 22 years from 1960 to 1982. This passage reduced the distance between Atri and Wazirganj blocks of Gaya district from 70 km to just 7 km.