Action on climate change: Jadav Payeng – the forest Man


there is so much each of us can do, and some of us swing far above our weight.

one such is Jadav Payeng. He’s a poor farmer. One of those who typically fall in the category of “to be helped”; of whom little is expected. But enterprise is agnostic.

Mr. Payeng noticed dead snakes lying on the Sandy bank of the mighty Brahmaputra in Northeast India in 1979. They had died of heat, and Payeng, a young boy of 16 then, brought shade to the place by planting trees so that others would not die like them. He’s been planting ever since and has planted enough to fill a once barren area of 550 hectares with a rich forest. Elephants, rhinoceros and even tigers live there now.

Mr. Payeng is a subsistence farmer, who sells milk from the cows and buffaloes that he and family (wife and 3 children) keep. He has been hurt by the forest he grew – elephants have destroyed his hut many times; Tigers have killed several cows, but he continues to defend the forest. He lives modestly, bereft of most modern conveniences. Fame has found him recently and heaped many awards that sit lightly on his shoulders.

Please do watch Mr. McMaster’s Cannes award winning documentary of Mr. Payeng – empowering:

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