The Forest Man of India – Jadev Payeng
Jadav ‘Molai’ Payeng is best known as the Forest Man of India. He is an inspiration showing what the dedication of one person can achieve. Since 1979, when Jadev was just 16 years old, he started planting and tending to trees on a sandbank of the Brahmaputra river in Assam, India.
Jadav, from the Mishing tribe, was living on the world’s largest river island: Majuli. As a child he witnessed his entire village being washed away and it was feared the island may disappear completely due to the unbridled force of the river and the devastating seasonal floods. In 1979 there was a particularly destructive flood and it was this event which galvanised Jadav into action: he started planting seedlings on one of Majuli’s eroding riverbanks, believing the roots would help to inhibit soil erosion.
Single-handedly, every day, he continued to plant seeds including bamboo, tamarind, teak, custard apple, star fruit, devil’s tree, tamarind, mango, jackfruit, banyan, elephant grass and medicinal plants. Today, he is responsible for over 1400 acres of forest and for totally re-shaping and restoring this region of Assam. The forest is known as the ‘Molai’ forest, after Jadav. Wildlife is thriving with endangered Bengal tigers, one-horned rhino, many monkeys and bird species and over a hundred wild boar and deer. There is also a herd of elephants that visits the forest annually.
Jadev ‘s ambition is to continue his work on another sandbar and to replant 5,000 acres of forest. We would like to acknowledge Jadev’s dedication and commitment to the environment and support his future efforts by donating a portion of funds raised by the carbon calculator directly to him.
To watch an inspiring short video about Jadev and his work Click here (Opens in new tab).