Categorized | Environment, Features, Media

The Man Who Planted Trees

 

Single-Handedly Planting a 1,360 Acre Forest

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Deforestation and desertification are critical problems in India that have led to barren land, increased soil erosion, decreased agricultural production, and devastated
local wildlife.  

However one Indian man has made a stand – by single-handedly
planting and cultivating a 1,360 acre forest that is home to a complex,
thriving ecosystem.

Jadav “Molai” Payeng started his project 30 years ago when he was still a teenager.  Then, in 1979, flood waters washed a large number of snakes ashore on the local sandbar in Jorhat, some 350 km from Guwahati.  When the waters receded, Payneg– who was 16 at the time– noticed the reptiles had died due to a lack of forestry.

“The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover.  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. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo.  It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me.  Nobody was
interested,” said Payeng, who is now 47.

Payeng chose to live on the sandbar, starting a life of isolation as he began work to create a new forest.  Planting the seeds by hand, watering the plants in the morning and evening, and pruning them when required, he cultivated a huge natural reserve.

After a few years, the sandbar was transformed into a bamboo thicket.

“I then decided to grow proper trees.  I collected and planted them.  I also transported red ants from my village, and was stung many times.  Red ants change the soil’s properties. That was an experience,” Payeng recalled.

Over the years, the reserve has seen a huge variety of flora and fauna blossom on the sandbar, including endangered animals like the one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal tiger.

“After 12 years, we’ve seen vultures.  Migratory birds, too, have started flocking here.  Deer and cattle have attracted predators,” claims Payeng. 

Unfortunately, locals reportedly killed a rhino which was seen in his forest, something that Payeng clearly disapproves of.  

”Nature has made a food chain; why can’t we stick to it?  Who
would protect these animals if we, as superior beings, start
hunting them?” Payeng said.

Amazingly, the Assam state forest department only learned about Payeng’s forest  in 2008 when a herd of some 100 wild elephants strayed into it after marauding through villages nearby.  It was then that assistant conservator of forests Gunin Saikia met Payeng for the first time.

“We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar.  Locals, whose homes had been destroyed by the pachyderms, wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng dared them to kill him instead.  
He treats the trees and animals like his own children.  
Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in,” says Saikia.

“We’re amazed at Payeng. He has been at it for 30 years.  Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero.”

(Via The Times of India)

 

 

Decades later, the lush ecosystem he created is now a safe haven for a variety of large and small species that include birds, deer, rhinos, tigers and elephants impacted by extensive habitat loss.

Payeng makes a living in the forest he planted, rearing cows and selling milk in the nearest town with his wife and three children.

The extraordinary, yet humble, eco-conscious farmer stands as a shining example of what one person can accomplish to make the world a better place.  Now he is planning on devoting his next 30 years to planting another forest.

He says, “I feel sad when I see people felling trees.  We have to save the nature, or else we all will perish.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Our appreciation goes to Onahunttoday who sent this article along to us, and author Timon Singh of Inhabitat.com.

We feel everyone can and should make a difference in the world, making it a better place for future generations.  We like stories of those bringing about positive change, leading by example with ethical values and a strong moral will, and who often are the inspiring underdog bringing better things about for all through their sheer determination.

You can do it too.  In your own way, in your own community, with your own ideas and imagination.  Be inspired.  Plant a seed.  Grow a tree.  Like Payeng walking in his forest below, you, too, can make the magic happen.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

One Response to “The Man Who Planted Trees”

  1. Sika says:

    I always like to hear about planting trees all over the world. It helps us and nature in so many ways.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • US kept jailing people despite drop in crime
    OFF THE CHARTS […]
  • White House coverup of the day
    Washington Post - Bloomberg White House correspondent Margaret Talev noted how the White House stopped giving details on the fine wines served at state dinners, an opaque measure that she exposed in this story. In pursuing the piece, said Talev, she got the runaround from White House press officials, making her “so mad at them.” […]
  • Word: The space explosion could have been worse
    Karl Grossman - This event underlines again the folly of using nuclear power in space — something the United States and Russia are again actively planning. An explosion on launch is not unusual — indeed, one out of 100 rockets fail on launch. But, consider if radioactive materials were on board — as will be the situation for the proposed U.S. and Russian nuc […]
  • The real Clinton story: 1982
    Stories the media doesn't tell you about the Clintons and the state that made them  A DEA report uncovered by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard will cite an informant claiming that a key Arkansas figure and backer of Clinton "smuggles cocaine from Colombia, South America, inside race horses to Hot Springs." The London Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pric […]
  • Real economics: Wages
    Among all employees nationally, 56 percent are hourly workers, and 32 percent of these, or more than 21 million, earn less than $10.10 per hour, according to University of Virginia researchers in the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service’s Demographics Research Group. The Labor Department reports that the 13 states that raised their minimum wage in 2014 ha […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    A real simple rule on privatization: Ask the following question: Is this something about which citizens should have a say? If the answer is yes, don't privatize. - Sam Smith […]
  • Word
    The day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. […]
  • Jazz break
    Coleman Hawkins Quintet […]
  • Recovered history: The real Clinton story, 1981
    Stories the media forgot to tell you1981 Hillary Clinton writes Jim McDougal: "If Reagonomics works at all, Whitewater could become the Western Hemisphere's Mecca." Major drug trafficker Barry Seal, under pressure from the Louisiana cops, relocates his operations to Mena, Arkansas. Seal is importing as much as 1,000 pounds of cocaine a month f […]
  • Real economics: Jobs
    The decline in the official poverty rate last year from 15.0 percent to 14.5 percent is especially welcome because it follows a decade and a half of mostly rising or stagnant poverty rates. Before 2013, the official poverty rate fell only once since 2000. Still, at the current rate of progress — which was hampered in 2013 by slow job growth and austerity pol […]
  • What's happening
    Boston thinks about becoming a new Venice to deal with sea water rise […]
  • Postal Service spied on almost 50,000 packages last year
    Gawker - A New York Times report shows that the Postal Service monitored nearly 50,000 packages sent in the U.S. in 2013 through a program called "mail covers." The surveillance program, which allows law enforcement agencies to access mailing and return addresses—anything written on the outside of a package—before it is delivered, has been in place […]
  • Erik Prince blames leftists for the convictIon of his contractors
    Fortress America - Erik Prince, the diminutive Blackwater founder, knows why four of his ex-employees were just convicted of murdering Iraqi civilians with machine guns: the goddamn anti-war hippies.Prince—a " Christian crusader" who's taken to being a patriotic American in Abu Dhabi while dodging lawsuits—took time to answer some mild-mannere […]
  • Republicans don't create jobs
     According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by California economist Steven Stoft, in the 75 years from Fiscal Year 1940 to Fiscal Year 2014, Democratic administrations have generated 74 Million jobs. Republican  administrations during that time have generated 35 million jobs. […]
  • Online travel booking sits rig prices by customer's history
    Travel Mole - Online [travel] booking sites, according to new research, says available prices can be dependent on past browser history and 'personalization.'A study by researchers at the Northeastern University said price discrimination, whereas price is customized to a specific user, and price steering, when the order of search results is customiz […]