Jadav Payeng, also known as Molai is one of the most down to earth people that one would see or hear about. He gave up his life in bringing up the forestry and that he loved growing up trees. Payeng, an Assamese, born in 1963 belongs to the Mishing tribe of the Jorhat, India.
He is a dedicated environmental activist and also a forestry worker in Jorhat itself. He came into limelight because of his work and dedication towards building up a forest reserve on the sandbar of the Brahmaputra River. And the forest is named after him, the Molai Forest which covers almost 550 hectares of the land near the Kokilamukh of Jorhat, Assam, in the east India.
Since childhood, he was close to the animals and the woods. In 1979, when he was just 16, had experienced a flood, in which he saw many of the snakes had died mainly due to the heat after the flood. After this encounter, he decided to plant 20 bamboo seedlings on the sandbar. And thereon, he started working on the forest land.
The social forestry division of the Golaghat district launched a scheme in Aruna Chapori, which is almost 5 kilometers away from jorhat, wherein tree plantation on 200 hectares is going to take place. And molai worked in the forest not until the project but also stayed thereafter. He contributed his time in planting more and more trees and also gradually turned the area into a forestry land.
The Molai forest is the home to the Bengal tigers, Indian Rhinoceros, more than 100 deer and rabbits and many other animals. The apes and several varieties of the birds also include their homes in this forest, mainly including large number of vultures. And these animals and birds dwell in various species of the trees, namely valcol, ejar, koroi, goldmohur, moj, himolu and bamboo being covering the most of the area.
The Molai’s efforts came into the limelight in 2008 when forest department officials went to that area in search of almost 115 elephants that had resided in the forest after damaging the nearby village. While they were on search of the elephants, they realized the growth of the forest and as to how it was being build up. The forest was large and dense which amazed the officials and they have been visiting it since then.
A common man, who lives in a small hut in the lands of the Assam, has two sons and a daughter. He does own a cattle and a buffalo which help him earn his living. He believes and is ready to manage the forest land and is evenly ready to go to various places to build up a similar kind of dense and large forest area. His only aim is to spread his forest to another sand bar inside of Brahmaputra.
This man of love for nature have won many honorable titles but one of the main and precious is that of the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India was given to Molai in 2015 for the forest that he has built up and the way that he is being upbringing it. he has been honored many other awards and recognitions and along with that, he is also being a subject of famous documentaries that are based on environment and forestry. He created his name and lives one.
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