Honouring the “Forest Man of India” who created an entire forest: A home for wild elephants, tigers, rhinos and deer – Assam

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Thirty-four years ago when he began to plant trees, no one, including him, had the slightest idea that his effort would give birth to an entire forest.

It all began with a dream he had in 1979 to plant trees on barren land for small animals and birds to build their homes on the tree tops.

Chasing his dream, Jadav Payeng, then a young lad, belonging to the Mishing tribal community in Jorhat district, in the north eastern state of Assam, began to plant trees regularly.

Decades later, the trees have transformed into a lush forest covering 550 hectares of land, home to wild elephants, tigers, rhinos and deer.

Similarly, he is growing trees on another 150 hectares of land, which is adjacent to the first forest he helped plant.

In appreciation of his single handed efforts, the Assam government has named the forest he helped grow after him, as Mulai Kathoni Bari or the forest of Mulai, Payeng’s pet name.

In 2012, India’s premier educational institution, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) named him the ‘Forest Man of India’. […]

“Payeng is a true conservationist who is working generously on the issue, and he has shown what an ordinary person with good motive and will power can do,” said Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

Source: India’s forest man – Features – Al Jazeera English
Address : http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/01/indias-forest-man-201411762848958203.html
Date Visited: Sat May 31 2014 21:07:23 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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