Jadav Payeng: The Man Who Planted an Entire Forest by Himself


Jadav Payeng, known as the Forest Man of India, spent 30 years of his life planting trees to save his island, creating a forest and restoring wildlife in it.

Jadav Payeng is better known as the Forest Man of India. He earned this name by spending 30 years of his life planting trees, creating a real man-made forest of 550 hectares. Thanks to this reforestation, wildlife has returned to the area. Incredibly, he did it all by himself. This is his story.

Molai Kathoni forest: A one-man-made forest

The Mulai Reserve is a forest on the Majuli Island in the Brahmaputra River near Kokilamukh in the Jorhat district in Assam, India. It has a total area of about 1,000 hectares and is under continuous threat due to the extensive soil erosion on its banks.

Majuli has shrunk over the past 70 years by more than half. There are concerns that it could be submerged within the next 20 years. To fight this, in 1980, the Assam Forestry Division of Golaghat district began a plan to reforest 200 hectares of the forest in one of the sandbars of the Brahmaputra river.

However, the program was sadly abandoned in 1983. After that, the forest was single-handedly attended by Jadav Payeng during the course of over 30 years. He began planting bamboo. Then, he continued planting other species. He wants to spread his Molai Forest to Bongoan of Majuli.

He planted and tended trees along a sandbar on the Majuli island. Majuli is the biggest river island in the world. The Molai forest now encompasses an area of about 1,360 acres/550 hectares of forest. The area can be compared to the size of 15 football stadiums together.

The Molai forest created by Jadav Payeng is largest than Central Park in New York City. Thanks to him, the Molai forest now houses Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, reptiles, over 100 deers, and rabbits in addition to monkeys and several varieties of birds, including a large number of vultures.