Jadav Payeng - The Forest Man of India

Jadav Payeng /Source: Forest Man/William D McMaster
At a moment, you are falling down, and at another moment, you want to move ahead. This is what happened to me for maybe one hundred sixty third time in these five months of this very year, already. But, today, I just panicked out of no reason, and this video helped me to restore my integrity.

Jadav Payeng, also known as the Forest Man of India, is not someone, you hear on daily basis. He is not someone who is arguing for the change sitting in air conditioned rooms. He is actually doing it, a bit by bit, a day by day.

Here is the sixteen minute and thirty-four second long short film by William Douglas McMaster, showing the inspirational life of the Forest Man of India.

Here are some interesting facts about Him.

1. In 1979, at the age of sixteen, when he encountered a large number of dead snakes, died due to excessive heat after the flood in Brahmaputra on tree-less sandbar region, he first planted 20-something bamboo seedlings.

2. He, then, started working as labour, when Golaghat's Social Forestry Division launched a scheme to tree plantation in Aruna Chapori, near Jorhat. But after completion of the project, he chose to stay back and continue from where everything is left.

3. The locals have nicknamed him, Molai, meaning 'the forest', and the Majuli delta forest has been renamed after his name and now known as Molai Forest.

4. The Molai Forest is now home to famous Bengal Tigers, Indian rhinoceros, Indian Elephants and other Indian fauna.

5. He first came into limelight in 2008, when forest department official went in search of an elephant herd, who retreated into his forest after unconsciously damaging the property of Aruna Chopai village. The forest officials were surprised to see such a dense forest, near Aruna Chopai, even when they have made official visits in nearby areas.

6. Jadav Payeng is a dairy farmer, and his livelihood only comes from selling milk. In his recent interviews, he said, he has around 100 of his cows and buffaloes to tigers in the forest, but he blames people for such events as they have destroyed local flora and fauna.

7. In 2012, he was honoured at a public event, organized by Jawaharlal Nehru University, for his remarkable achievement. It is where, then, JNU Vice Chancellor, Sudhir Kumar Sorpoy gave him the title of "the Forest Man of India".

8. In 2015, he received Padma Shri, fourth highest civillian award in India for his outstanding work.

9. He is the subject of a children's book Jadav and The Tree-Place, written and illustrated by Vinayak Sharma.

10. The above sixteen minute and thirty-four second short film, written and directed by William Douglas McMaster, is the winner of Best Documentary prize at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase in the American Pavilion at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

Know more about him and his work at JadavPayeng.org

Video Source: William D. McMaster 

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