Man Grows 1,360-acre Forest in India... By Himself
BY: SUN STAFF
May 08, 2012 CANADA (SUN) Due to Krsna's amazing arrangements, a man in India was able to single-handedly plant an entire forest, proving that one person really can make a large difference. When he was a teenager in Northern India's Assam region about 30 years ago, Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds in a sandbar near his birthplace.
A few years later, he moved into the area and turned the seed-planting and tree-nurturing into his life's work, planting seeds and helping them grow over a wide area that was initially left for desolate.
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.
In the past 30 years, his seed-planting endeavors have resulted in a massive, 1,360-acre jungle in Assam, a forest ecosystem that has left an incredible mark on the Indian landscape and stands as a testament to Payeng's dedication.
While it's taken years for Payeng's remarkable dedication to planting to receive some well-deserved recognition internationally, it didn't take long for wildlife in the region to benefit from the manufactured forest. Demonstrating a keen understanding of ecological balance, Payeng even transplanted ants to his burgeoning ecosystem to bolster its natural harmony. Soon the shadeless sandbar was transformed into a self-functioning environment where a menagerie of creatures could dwell.
The Molai woods, in addition to being covered with lush greenery, is now home to a whole host of creatures big and small, including birds, deer, rhinos, tigers, and elephants.
Excerpted from articles by Times of India and Sameer Vasta at Treehugger.com