Story of Jadav Payeng

The forest man “Molai” Jadav Payeng is a living source of inspiration for how a man single handily created a forest out of a sandbar in India.

A 16-year boy known as “Molai” noticed that a 1000 hectares sandbar of Majuli island was continuously being eroded day by day due to lack of forest, vegetation, and floodwaters of river Brahmaputra. This was in 1979.

Majuli Island on Google Map

At the Beginning

At that time, the island had lost almost half of its area due to continuous erosion. To counter this Government started a reforestation project to plant trees and reforest that island. Molai a.k.a. Jadav Payeng started working on that project with other people.

Sadly due to some constraint, the Government abandoned the project in a few years. Thereafter, all the workers and other staff deserted the Majuli island.

Molai Forest

But, Molai a.k.a. Jadav Payeng stayed there. He started planting bamboo on his own.

He planted several other types of trees and took care of them. Due to his effort that sandbar turned into a forest.

People named that forest Molai forest, aptly.

As the forest grew, different wild animals also have taken shelter there. Their generation flourished there. At present Molai Forest have Bengal Tiger, exotic deer, Rhinoceros, Elephants and many animals thanks to “Molai”.

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Jadav Payeng "Molai"
The Forest Man of India

Forest Man

After nearly thirty years since the Government abandoned the reforestation project; in 2008 Government officials came to know about this forest. And at that time Jadav Payeng became a topic of interest at Government level. Since then “Molai” Jadav Payeng is a handy help for officials against poaching, forest land encroachment, and forest management.

Since his initial days, he lives in his own forest with his family. He owns cow and buffalo. His only source of income is Milk which he sells to a nearby village.

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For his selfless effort and environmental conservation, Government of India have honoured him with “Padm Shri”, the fourth highest civilian award in India.

Due to his effort, many documentaries for Television and other media have been made depicting his effort and his life.

“Molai” Jadav Payeng is a living source of inspiration of how a man singles handily created a forest out of a sandbar. Great effort by a Goodman.

Take care.

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