Thursday, May 10, 2012

NEWS: One man creates 1,360 acre forest

Originally posted on TrueActivist.com May 9, 2012

Have you ever heard the saying “you have the power to make a difference”? Well, the following demonstrates how one person has proven this. Over 30 years ago, a young teenager by the name of Jadav “Molai” Payeng had an idea to turn a barren sandbar into a thriving oasis. With this vision in mind, he began planting seeds in this very same sandbar near his birth place of Assam, India. Soon thereafter, Payeng moved to the area in pursuit of fulfilling his dream of one day creating a forest out of land that was left for waste.

Fostering a dream

Over the next several years, Payeng spent many of his hours planting seeds, tending to the land and nurturing the growth. After 30 years of dedication, his hard work had finally been rewarded. Not only has Payeng successfully transformed an area that was once considered by many, including the forest department, to be unsuited for planting, but he actually created a 1,360 acre forest. Can you imagine that!

How it all began

The Times India recently sat down with Payeng to discover how his lifelong project had all started.

“It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng , only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.”

“The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage . I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested,” says Payeng, now 47.

Creating an ecosystem

Guided by instincts, and convinced by will and reason to pursue his goal, Payeng had created not only a forest, but an ecosystem covered with lush greenery which now houses several animal species, including numerous birds, deers, rhinos, tigers, and elephants. The once deserted sandbars of Assam India are now a thriving ecosystem all thanks to the selfless efforts of a young man.

The area known today as the Molai woods is an example of compassion and dedication to all living things. Jadav “Molai” Payeng is considered by many today as a hero, even by the local forestry officials.

“We’re amazed at Payeng,” says Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia. “He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero.”

Our goals may not be accomplished immediately, but if we allow time to nurture our actions, they have the potential to grow, and even flourish into beautiful manifestations. Always remember that our actions, no matter how small they may appear, make a difference in the world. Never cease believing in yourself and one another.

Word List:

  • to demonstrate: to show someone how to do something by doing it yourself
  • to nurture: to provide the necessary conditions for something to grow and develop
  • unsuited: not the right type of person or thing
  • carnage: a situation in which there is a lot of death and destruction
  • manifestation: evidence that something exists or is present
  • to cease: to stop happening or continuing

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