He transformed a 550-hectare barren sandbar on the Brahmaputra into a sprawling jungle, single-handedly. At 52, Jadav Payeng now plans to upgrade another sandbar into a forest. His relentless efforts have earned Payeng the “Forest Man of India” title.
Located near Kokilamukh, 12-km away from his village in Assam’s Jorhat district, Mulai Kathoni (Mulai is his nickname) forest is a result of three decades of Payeng’s hard work. The lush forest has over one [sic] lakh trees and is home to leopards, rabbits, apes, birds, snakes, vultures, deer, wild boars and wild buffaloes.
Payeng’s efforts are viewed as significant given Assam’s alarming loss of forest cover in recent years.