One of my new heroes, the Forest Man, Jadav Payeng
In the North East of India, lies the largest inland island in the world, Majuli Island, which is home to over 150,000 people.
Mainly due to significant deforestation, the annual monsoon floods have eroded away much of the island, causing massive damage to the area.
Starting as a 16 year old in 1979, Jadav Payeng, set about reversing this issue and started to plant seeds along the sandy, barren coast of the island.
Over the next 30 years, Jadav planted 1,360 acres of trees, creating a marvellous forest larger than New York’s Central Park!
What caused him to take such massive action?
In his own words, “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.”
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