Man in India Creates 1,360 Acre Forest by Himself
A Man in India, over thirty years, constructed a forest single-handedly.
A man develops a forest
When Jadav "Molai" Payeng was a sixteen year old student back in 1979, floods inundated the coastline near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region, and he began to bury seeds along a sandbar in order to create vegetation in a barren area. He hasn't stopped since. Dedicating his life to the singular task of bringing burgeoning life to what had been a wasteland, he has succeeded in creating a 1,360 acre forest.
Those floods washed a great number of snakes ashore, and when the waters had receded Payeng discovered that they had all died. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover," he relates. "I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested."
While it has now been thirty years since Payeng began his project, it wasn't long after he started that wildlife began to flourish within the confines of his manufactured forest. He has paid scrupulous attention to detail, even on one occasion transplanting ants there to bolster the harmony of the ecosystem. Today, it is called the Molai woods, and it is a refuge for birds, deer, rhinos, tigers and elephants.
India's Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, says "We're amazed at Payeng. "He has been at it for thirty years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero."
Preview photo Times of India