We often fantasize about changing the world but don’t do anything thinking, “What difference can a single person make?”
Perhaps Jadav Payeng can give you an answer. He is the man from Assam who made a forest. Yes, he planted all the trees by himself. How’s that possible? Well,here’s how the story goes-
It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on a sandbar in the river Brahmaputra in Jorhat, Assam. After the waters had receded, Payeng , only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. He was so devastated by that sight that he decided to plant trees in that area.
He built a small home on the sandbar and began by planting bamboo. He watered the plants morning and evening and pruned them. He also brought red ants from his home village to the sandbar to improve the soil. As the bamboo took root, he began to slowly introduce other species of trees into the island, and began to notice that wildlife began to inhabit his forest.
The forest, called the Mulai woods(after Jadav’s nickname “Mulai”), is spread over 1,360-acres and is a safe haven for numerous birds, deer, rhinos, tigers and elephants — species increasingly at risk from habitat loss.
Forestry officials in the region first learned of this new forest in 2008 — and since then they’ve come to recognize his efforts as truly remarkable.
Jadav Payeng was honoured at a public function arranged by the School of Environmenal Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University on 22nd April, 2012 for his remarkable achievement.
So, next time you wonder what difference can a single person make, think about this Forest Man of India!
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