December 2, 2021 4107

Jadav Payeng- The Forest Man of India


The phrase ‘environmentalism’ can be interpreted as a moral and political trend that strives at improving and conserving natural environment conditions by, first, changing environmentally destructive actions, second, by accepting social, political, and economic structures of organizations that are essential and/or conducive to the peaceful solution of the environment and third, by reassessing the human-nature bond. Therefore, an environmentalist is a person who is an advocate of environmentalism.

Environmental movements can be largely categorized into two sections. The initial is the anthropocentric approach or the ‘human-centered’ technique wherein one is mainly concerned with the adverse consequence of environmental degradation on varied elements of human life. This is inferred to as the ‘shallow ecology’ technique. The second category is termed as the biocentric approach or the ‘life centered’ approach wherein it is supposed that the environment holds up with itself a particular intrinsic value that urges human beings to take care of it. As an outcome, all people and components from the natural environment structure a harmonious ecological constituency. This is named as the ‘deep ecology’ approach.

Environmentalists in India have provided considerably to giving rise to about specific transformations that have stimulated the technique of environmental protection, improved the quality of the environment, and pinnacled in the advancement of human-nature bonds.

Jadav Payeng

Jadav Payeng Also recognized as the ‘forest man of India,’ he comes from the state of Assam. His assistance as an environmentalist entails establishing a 550 hectare long man-made jungle all by himself. The jungle of Muali Reserve fabricates in the Majuli Island, on Brahmaputra River in Assam. It has a cumulative area of 1000 hectares and encounters the danger of “extensive soil erosion.” Majuli shrunk to approximately extra than half of its size in the past 70 years and encountered the chance of being drowned. To prevent this submergence, the Golaghat District Forestry Division started seeding 200 hectares of the jungle in the sandbars of the Brahmaputra in 1980. Though, at the beginning of 1983, this strategy was discontinued by the administrations. Jadev Payeng intervened at that period and devoured 30 years of his life trying to rebuild the jungle. He commenced by seeding bamboo and a few different plant species which concluded in the rehabilitation of that region. At present, the jungle comprises 1360 hectares of area and a diversity of wildlife.

Life and Experiences

He was born to a poor buffalo farmer of the Mishing tribe in Assam. due to the flooding of the river Brahmaputra, In 1965, his native territory, the river island Aruna Sopari was drowned. His family had no choice but to take shelter in Majuli. Majuli, the planet's biggest river island is encircled by the river Brahmaputra. Majuli furthermore had to withstand the resentment of the river and it is said that over the century the piece attaching Majuli to the mainland vanished, the green vegetation of Majuli was washed away gradually but steadily, and repeated flooding had left behind sandbars, a deserted terrain without trees and grass, replenished just with sand. Jadav Payeng after ending his X standard in Jorhat Assam returned to his native land.

At the impressionable age of 16, Jadav Payeng glimpses an unfortunate panorama that changed him into the person he is at present. One day while strolling through the deserted area he saw large number of snakes had washed up in the barren treeless mudbank. Due to burning heat and with the sun beating down on them they rest there entangled in an unconscious gathering, dead due to vulnerability. This happening left a profound sensation on his psyche.

Journey of Becoming the Forest Man

The similar year, in 1979 the social forestry division of Golaghat district commenced a 5 years tree plantation drive on 200 hectares at Aruna Chapori mudbank. Jadav Payeng enlisted the program as a laborer. 5 years after the completion of the program everyone concerned in the program departed but Jadav Payeng a native of Aruna Chapori choose to dwell back. The panorama of the dead snakes kept playing on his psyche, he strolled to the deserted area and planted around 20 bamboo seedling there and then he commenced seeding more and more trees on his own. He was decided to repair the mudbank into a green lush jungle so he just proceeded to plant trees. He furthermore inclined and took care of the plants that were left behind. His devotion and endurance bore outcome as over the years there were several thousand trees thriving on the mudbank. The flourishing jungle brought in an assortment of birds, wildlife, rabbits, dear. The lush jungle was dwelling to monkeys, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants. The barren mudbank after years of assistance from this man had rolled into a heaven.


After working relentlessly since 1979 till date, he has carved his dream come true. He has single-handedly turned the barren mudbank into a lush dense forest with a flourishing wildlife. The administrations came to recognize about this jungle on Majuli Island in Kokilamukh, Jorhat district, Assam in 2008. The jungle area of 550 hectares was the endeavor of this single person who rolled the deserted area into a jungle reserve. The jungle is named ‘Molai forest’. It is called after the man who cultivated the jungle, Padma Shri Jadav Molai Payeng. The title of the jungle provided by the Government of Assam is ‘Mulai Kathoni’ ‘Kathoni’ implies ‘forest’.

Awards and Advice

In 2012, he was honored as ‘The Forest Man of India’ by Vice-Chancellor Sudhir Kumar Sopory, Jawaharlal Nehru University. He was later rewarded the ‘Ecological Restoration Award’ by Balipara Foundation in 2013. In tribute to the extraordinary assistance to mankind, he was adorned with Padma Shri in 2015.

In glory to his excellent assistance to environmental conservation, he was bestowed with the Karmayogi Award for 2020 in New Delhi. In 2012 a film documentary ‘The Molai Forest’ created by Jitu Kalita, was published. In 2013, Aarti Shrivastava organized a documentary ‘Foresting life’ established on his life. ‘Forest Man’ an award-winning film documentary by William Douglas McMaster was broadcast in 2013.

He has starred in a children’s book ‘Jadav and the Tree-Place’, jotted down and demonstrated by Vinayak Varma. In the Department of Botany VPM’s B. N. Bandodkar College of Science in 2018 conducted an International conference ‘Green Earth: A panoramic view’. He was the chief guest.

He furthermore recited his experience in the creation of the Moloi jungle. A modest man with a reasonable logic – ‘Love nature, nature will reciprocate’. The standing ovation he earned was the evidence that he is an inspiration for one and all. He embodies courage, dedication, and passion, he is the living representation of how it is feasible for a single person to bring about positive transformation in the environment. We learn from him to be courageous and live the life of your fantasies.