Jadav Payeng "The Forest Man of India"---…
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Jadav Payeng "The Forest Man of India"--- A truly inspirational person!

January 16, 2017 • By Shirley Marie Bradby

Everybody calls him "The Forest Man of India", not because he lives in a forest, but because he created one! His name is Jadav Payeng, and he hails from a small village in India, on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.

What started him growing trees, on an island of sand located in the middle of a river, was an incident that occurred when he was 16 years old. Due to an excessively hot summer, a large number of snakes died because they could not find enough trees for shelter.

It was in 1979 when he planted the roots of his first tree, and today, after more than 30 years, everyone thanks him for having created such a beautiful nature reserve that has brought many animals back to live on the island.

Jadav is resolved to carry on with his mission until his last breath! He is determined to restore the island to its original state when it was covered by a thick forest.

The arboreal species that now inhabit the nature reserve are very diverse. There are local plants, shrubs, and fruit trees from which animals often eat the fruits. 

Jadav plants his trees during the hot season, while the rest of the year, he collects the seeds that he plants in the following months.

This man does not have the forest as his only commitment! He also has a family with small children that he must take care of and a job that he has to keep! However, despite everything, he always manages to find time to attend to his trees.

"Before cutting down the trees, they will have to cut me", he has often stated to express his attachment to the little green island that has created with his own hands.

After planting trees for decades, Jadav has created an extensive nature reserve that covers about 500 hectares (2 sq. mi) where today rhinos, elephants, tigers, and deer now live.

This forest that is so dear to him has over the years risked being destroyed due to the political and agricultural policies adopted by the government that tend to eliminate natural reserves and transform them into arable fields.

Jadav, however, has shown constantly over the years how important determination can be! A small action repeated faithfully every day can lead to unexpected results!


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