A Student's Diary

Dare To Dream And Have The Courage To Follow It!!

#11. Can one man really make a difference? Here’s the proof.

Jadav Payeng, aka Molai, belongs to a tribe called “Mishing” in the Jorhat district of Assam, India. He lives in a small hut in the forest. Vinita, his wife, and his 3 children (two sons and a daughter) accompany him. They live on an island called Majuli island.

So why are we reading about this ‘illiterate’ tribal man? There are many other tribal people living somewhere or the other. Why talk about him? Why not just facebook our friends and see what they are up to or which photos they like? Why not browse the web about what our favorite actors and see which magazine they pose nude for this time around? Why not join the twitterati in the ‘useful’ discussion about Kim K’s latest nude act?

Because he, Jadav Payeng, is the Forest Man of India, as described by former Indian President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Because, he singlehandedly has planted an entire forest, which now is known as ‘Molai Forest’, of about 1360acres(550 hectares) on a barren wasteland on the basin of river Brahmaputra. Because he is singlehandedly fighting against the erosion of Majuli island caused by destructive floods of river Brahmaputra. Because he is leading the fight against climate change and has brought ecological balance on his land once again. Because he devoted more than 30 years of his life to the cause.

When Jadav Payeng was 16, he found a large number of died snakes after the floods on the barren sandbar. Moved by the sight, he decided to take action and planted about 20 bamboo seedlings on the sandbar. This was the beginning of a journey. A very long and passionate journey. He started working on the forest when  the social forestry division of Golaghat district launched a scheme of tree plantation on 200 hectares at Aruna Chapori situated at a distance of 5 km from Kokilamukh in Jorhat district. The project was completed in 5 years and all the workers and officials left. But he didn’t. He didn’t just look after the plants but planted more of them.

His years of efforts yielded results in the form of what we now know as the ‘Molai Forest’. The forest spans 1360 acres, which is way bigger than Central Park, New York(843 acres). The forest now houses Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, deer rabbits, apes, vultures and several varieties of birds. A herd of around 100 elephants regularly visits the forest every year and generally stay for around six months.

This heartwarming and inspirational video captures a few details about the Jadav Payeng and his passion for planting the trees and conserving the nature.

A salute to this real hero, who has shown that with willpower, commitment and hard work ‘One Man Can Make A Difference.’

Each one of us can make a difference.

If not the entire forest, atleast we can take a pledge to plant a tree on every birthday. If every one of us does that, it would account for more than a billion trees each year. Let’s unite and take the pledge, now.

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