Indian Man Single Handedly Plants 1,200 Acre Forest

By Meera Dolasia on April 1, 2012

We all try do our share in helping reduce global warming with small things like generating less trash, taking shorter showers or turning off unnecessary lights. However, very few of us do anything that can make an impact on the entire world, simply because we believe we can't do it alone. Turns out, where there is a will, there is a way. 13-year old Felix Finkbeiner did it by spearheading a global tree-planting movement and now there is India's Jadev Payeng who has planted an entire forest, single-handedly!

Now in his mid-fifties, the nature lover was one of the laborers brought in 1980, by the social forest division of Assam's Golaghat District to create a tree plantation on a sandbar that lay in the middle of the Brahmaputra River. The project, which entailed planting over 200 hectares (494 acres) took five years, after which, all the laborers were sent home.

However, Mr. Payeng, who is nicknamed Mulai by the locals, decided to stay put and continue the effort. He not only nurtured the trees that had already been planted, but also, continued to add more. Over the years, the Mulai forest has grown to 500 hectares (1,235 acres) and is home to four tigers, three rhinoceros, as well as, hundreds of deer, rabbits, apes and birds. In addition to that, every year a herd of 100 elephants visit the forest for about six months and even give birth to their calves there.

Besides extending the forest, Mr. Payeng who lives in a small house on the outskirts with his family, also helps protects the endangered residents from poachers. The amazing part is that this nature lover who makes his living selling milk from his herd of cows and buffaloes, has never received any help from the government, except for occasional tree saplings from the local ministry. In fact, they were not even aware of his amazing work until 2008, when they were trying to track down a giant herd of elephants that had destroyed some property, and found them hiding in the Mulai forest.

The government is now re-focusing its efforts on the area and planning to extend the forest out another 500 hectares (1,235 acres). There is also a movement to try get them to declare the Mulai forest, a mini animal sanctuary. Mr. Payeng says that if this happens and he gets assurance that his forest and its dwellers will be well protected, he will move on and re-start the planting process somewhere else. Pretty cool!

Resources: asianage.com, odditycentral.com

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192 Comments
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  • maddie4/9/2014
    it looks intresting
    • la_eliza
      la_eliza9/30/2013
      That is awesome!
      • Spine 823/12/2013
        No one cares lala!
        • Lala3/12/2013
          I am researching India and this is the best I have seen so far
          • lala3/4/2013
            i am reserching india and this is the best i have seen so far
            • imdabomb
              imdabomb2/6/2013
              That's cool
              • Luis2/1/2013
                This is cool
                • asianrocks13
                  asianrocks131/30/2013
                  wish i could live in the country
                  • Carrot Cover1/30/2013
                    i would like to help out with planting. but living in the city it kinda hard to plant anything. i like this man he is very dedicated to nature.
                    • asianrocks13
                      asianrocks131/30/2013
                      man, if only my parents could do something like this

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