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Meet the enthusiast who saved an island and got the animals back

In a world that does not always feel as safe and loving as it should, it is heartening to come across people who tirelessly try to make it more so.

Jadav Payeng from the island of Majuli, India, is one such person.

Once upon a time, Majuli was a lush green oasis, completely covered by dense forest. But soon enough, the area was devastated by man seeking to gain from its natural resources and thus destroying much of the island’s plant and animal life.

But 37 years ago, Jadav decided to try to make a change. In 1979, he planted a first tree on a deserted part of Majuli – and he continued to do so regularly.

Today, the former wasteland is once again a lush forest, almost twice as large as Central Park. The once barren landscape is is now a tropical paradise housing 115 elephants, rhinos, deer and tigers.

river-island-majuli

Much of the island of Majuli consisted of barren sand banks that were vulnerable to erosion, but thanks to Jadav’s efforts, that is no longer the case. 

According to Jadav, it was a dream to be able to recreate the natural beauty that once was Majuli – but the driving force behind his efforts was getting the plants and animals to return.

Jadav Payeng

Thanks to Jadav, the 550 hectare-forest now hosts abundant wildlife, including elephants, deer and tigers.

Wikipedia

The movie “Forest Man” which highlights Jadav’s incredible life’s work won best documentary at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. 

Watch Jadav in action in the video below:

Doesn’t Jadav just deserve limitless respect and praise for what he’s accomplished? Please share his amazing dedication to nature so that more people have the chance to pay tribute to him!

At Newsner, we love animals and believe in treating them with utmost respect. Please like if you do, too.