Apart from complaining about the climatic change and dealing with them by installing electronic devices, have we ever thought of the reason behind and for coming up with a better solution for the same? However, Jadav Molai Payeng dedicated his entire life towards this.
He was 16 when he first saw hundreds of dying snakes on dry sandbar in Assam and out of impulse he planted 20 saplings on the coast of the river which has now turned the area into about 1350 acres into lush green forest.
He began working in the social forestry division of Golaghat district of Assam where his main motive was to turn the area fully green. Even after the completion of the project, he stayed there and planted a number of saplings and trees. This stopped soil erosion and also helped with providing shade and shelter to the animals. This man-made forest was named after him and was called the Molai forest.
Not only did wildlife got a place to live and thrive but it also attracted the attention of the poachers, who used it for illegal activities. But Jadav was never afraid and kept a track of their movements and also informed the authorities about the same which led to them going behind the bars and most of their weapons were also seized.
His passion towards the forest came to be known and spread far and in the year 2015, he also got honored with the Padma Shri Award. He was also spoken about by the Indian Institute of Forest Management at a function. He also became a subject-matter for many documentaries and also a serial called ‘Jadav and the tree-place’ was released which became a huge success.
Belonging to a tribe called the mishing, he lives with his wife and three children in a hut made by him, his only source of income is the cattle he has. He sells the milk he gets from them to the neighbouring villages and relies on that income.
He has also said that he has lost many cows to the tigers, but still he blames deforestation for this behaviour. One simple step by Jadav has impacted the environment in various ways. We must make sure that we take small steps towards the same and create a better place for the humans and wildlife both.