Indian man single-handedly plants a 1,360-acre forest.'
Jadav Molai Payeng of Assam started planting seeds about 30 years ago. Out of pity for the dying snakes in need of shelter, he started planting seeds along a sandbar as a teenager.
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.
Fast forward to the present day, it’s no more a barren sandbar, but a sprawling 1360 acre forest. “Molai woods,” named after him now houses a number of endangered animals. The sandbar in the middle of Brahmaputra is about 350 km from Guwahati.
With no prior knowledge about trees, he started with bamboos and then later planted “proper trees.” Soon a variety of flora and fauna began dotting the sandbar and in 2008 forest officials were surprised to find such a dense forest in the middle of a sandbar.
The Untold Story of India Salutes the dedication of Jadav Molai Payeng. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero.