Why you need to know about Jadav Payeng, the forest man of India, who turned 1,360 Acres of barren land into one of the best man-made forests of India
Who is Jadav Payeng
Payeng, a 57-year-old farmer from Assam, started his journey to build a forest in 1979. After witnessing the horrible death of many animals due to the constant flooding and drought in the Majuli Reserve, young Payeng realized that he has to take action if he is to save the lives as well as the land of Majuli. Planting one sapling a day, he started his journey to build a forest in the barren land of his village at the age of 16. When everyone else his age was worrying about their careers, he left his formal education altogether and instead tended the mother earth. 42 years and numerous saplings later, Majuli now sports 1,369 acres of lush greenery, thanks to Payeng’s hard work.
Indian forest man Jadav Payeng
Jadav Payeng The Forest Man of India Image credit: Jadav Payeng: The Forest Man of India / Facebook If you want to…
Known as the “Molai” forest- after him- Payeng’s forest now is home to many wild species of India, like the Bengal tigers, Indian rhinos, and over 100 deer and rabbits, as well as a common tourist destination to many traveling birds and animals across the globe.
He Who Plants a Tree, Plants Hope.
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Plant more trees and restore economy
Payeng started planting with bamboo saplings and quickly moved to other plant species. In the beginning, planting was a difficult task as he had to do all the work by himself, but it did not deter him as he worked vigorously to better the future of the coming generations of Majuli.
Majuli, a well-known tourist spot was once filled with lush green and wildlife, but at present, it is under the constant threat of soil erosion and flood. Every year, it loses a significant piece of its land to the river Brahmaputra in the monsoon floods. And that’s why Payeng’s work gains importance, for his forest has significantly reduced the amount of land lost in recent years, and he has more ideas to revive the land of Majuli. By planting more trees like coconut he wishes to restore the land along with the economy of the state.
Awards and recognition
His actions have earned him multiple recognition from the government of India, in the form of the title The Forest Man of India, and honorary award of Padma Shri in 2015. Payeng also received honorary doctorate degrees from Assam Agricultural University and Kaziranga University for his contributions. After being recognized by the Indian government, his story has spread far and wide, that his journey to revive the forests is now taught to the students of ecology across the United States. Traveling the world, he has also delivered many talks in the past few years on environmental protection.
He inspired many
Payeng’s story has inspired a children’s book titled Jadav and the Tree Place that relates the story of how he made a forest from scratch. He has also been the subject of award-winning documentaries and commercial films like kaadan( 2021, Tamil). On hearing of his inspirational feat, people travel across the globe to see the Molai forest.
In a world where concrete is taking over the green of mother nature, Jadav Payeng tells us that anyone can bring a change to the world if they are ready to work and work hard. His story is not just any story, but an inspiration to those people who wish to bring a change in the way they live. Payeng’s actions teach you that every action counts when it comes to nature protection. If you want to clean the air or to resist floods, all you need to do is to plant a tree.Every day, you can plant a tree and change the entire world. Trees are the most important part of nature that keeps the world habitable, and hence you must plant trees rather than cut them. Today when air pollution and soil erosion are on the rise, it is high time that you take things on your hands and start making a difference. Start planting a tree. One at a time, you can also create a small forest for yourself that would house many animals as well as a healthy future for you.
*This blog was written at exter.in/blog page. Content has been moved here to medium story.