The inspiring story of a man who made a forest out of a barren land.
Inspiring story– Forest covers are necessary for the environment. But we can hardly see the dense forest in India. Yet efforts are being made to save the forests. As a result, Jadev Payeng is a good example. He became an inspiration for all of us. This is an inspiring story of his effort to save the forests in Assam.
Jadev Payeng- a true inspiration.
Jadev Payeng is a man from Assam. He is from the Mishing tribe. He lives in Jorhat district of Assam. First of all, he made efforts to convert a washed out land into a forest. Because he saw that, many animals’ had died due to a lack of vegetation. Therefore he planted bamboo trees. He saw that many migratory birds had declined.
Contribution to the environment.
Furthermore after Payeng’s efforts, the forests is now home to several wildlife species. Also he planted many trees, mainly bamboo. Elephants are also a constant visitor to the forest. Although Payeng told the forest department but it was of no use. Instead he planted trees on his own. First of all, he found a place near the River Brahmaputra. Near the river, he planted saplings.
When he faced challenges.
Watering the growing area of plants posed a problem. He could not draw water from the river and water all the growing plants, as the area proved to be vast for one man.
He built a bamboo platform on the top of each sapling and placed earthen pots with small holes in them. The water would gradually drip on the plants below and water them through the week until the pots were drained of water.
Next year, in 1980, he worked with social forestry division of Golaghat district, launching a scheme of tree plantation on 200 hectares at Aruna Chapori situated at a distance of 5 km from Kokilamukh in Jorhat district.
Payeng was one of the labourers who worked in that 5-year-long project. He chose to stay back after the completion of the project even after other workers left. He looked after the plants and continued to plant more trees on his own, in an effort to transform the area into a forest.
Payeng belongs to a tribe called “Mishing” in Assam, India. He lives in a small hut in the forest with his wife, and his 3 children. He has cattle farm and sells milk for his livelihood, which is his only source of income.
“My friends have become engineers and are living in the city. I have sacrificed everything and this Jungle is my home now. The recognition and awards that I have received is my wealth and that makes me the happiest man in the world,” Payeng says.
He cycles an hour to Kartik sapori, then rows his boat for about five kilometres, and then cycles again for half an hour across grassy meadows to reach his cow-shed to clean out the dung, milk the cattle, and spread cattle-manure to fertilize the fields. Milk dispatched for sale, a quick breakfast behind him at 9, and he is ready to walk into his jungle, his karmabhumi.
Payeng was honoured at a public function arranged by the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University on 22nd April, 2012 for his remarkable achievement.
JNU vice-chancellor Sudhir Kumar Sopory named Jadav Payeng as “Forest Man of India”. In October 2013, he was honoured at the Indian Institute of Forest Management during their annual event ‘Coalescence’.
Later that year, the then President APJ Abdul Kalam felicitated him with a cash award in Mumbai. The same year, he was among the 900 experts who gathered at the seventh global conference of the International Forum for Sustainable Development at Evian in France. Sanctuary Asia bestowed on him the Wildlife Service Award. This year, he received the Padma Shri.
Jitu Kalita- the man who helped Jadev Payeng.
Jitu Kalita is a local wildlife photographer. He was the one who helped in Payeng’s popularity. He published an article on him in 2010 in a regional Assamese newspaper.
Jadev Payeng’s dreams.
Payeng wanted every kids to learn about nature conservation. He feels that every school education should focus on this issue. Expectedly he spends all the cash awards on more forest. All his waking hours, Payeng sees the world in green.
Tomorrow is another day, and in it lie the seeds of many more forests.Isn’t it is amazing to see the willpower of this man who fought alone and won the battle single-handedly?