Molai forest, Jorhat district, Assam

Forests are always the favorite topics of people from different walks of life. From the villager to a technological expert, the prominence of forest for the sustainability of life is alike. Natural forests are true environment that are the habitat of several living things. Dense forests of natural origin from time immemorial are subject to the unending exploitation of man that resulted in the vast reduction of forest areas creating imbalance in nature. Though being a minority, people who are truly concerned about the preservation of nature propagates awareness against deforestation. Some go ahead other than awareness programs doing proper action in enabling growing forests. Other than group of people or organization who are keen on planting trees there are distinguished personalities who single handedly put effort to build forests for the conservation of environment. Though the state of Assam is blessed with natural forests it is subject various exploitations resulted wide destruction and reduction of vast forest areas. The impact of an ordinary man’s effort in creation of forest in Assam is praise worthy and significant at this context.

Molai Forest in Jorhat District in Assam is named as a tribute to the efforts of the famous environmentalist and forestry worker, Jadev Molai Payeng. His exceptional work of planting in 1,360 acres within a time span of 30 years single handedly, gave him world wide appreciation. Several documentaries on his life and efforts were reported in international television channels and magazines. His effort had a humble beginning of planting trees in the sand bank of river Brahmaputra later transformed to mighty forest that became a natural habitat for several animal and bird varieties. He nurtured each and every plant with care with an ultimate view of making this a part of environment that sustains life for future generations. For him Mother Nature will take care everyone without fail if she is properly protected and cared. Different species of animals, birds, plants are now found in this forest and this “man made forest” is now the part of the reserve forest in the Jorhat. Rare and species that are exposed to extinction are also found here. Bengal tigers, species of apes or primates, Indian one horned rhinoceros, varieties of deer, water birds, trees, and medicinal herbs constitute rich flora and fauna in this forest. More than 300 hectares is covered by bamboo for particular species of birds and animals survive on the habitat of bamboos. Another particular feature in this man made forest is the regular visit of elephant herd every year that would remain for six months. According to the wild life census it is found that as a result of stay of elephant herd 10 elephant calves have been born in this forest.

The single handed effort Mr Jadev had made India proud in the international front. Several documentaries and reports about the success story of Mr Jadev were reported in international television channels and journals. Renowned Indian documentary film maker Arati Srivastava had made documentary on him in the year 2013 titled as “Foresting Life” revealing even the minute details of his efforts to rear this forest and struggles and hardships he had to face in the making of this forest.

He got international acclaim for his efforts through an international documentary scripted o him by William Douglas Mc Master in 2013. This documentary had a major contribution from the public for about 8,327 USD worldwide in a post promotion program after the completion of this documentary. In the year 2014 this documentary was filmed in the Cannes Film Festival.

The trees and plants he planted and grew has now become a part of the ecosystem that gives the impression of natural environment. More over his commendable efforts are true inspiration to any person who loves nature to follow his path. It is a true delightful experience for any person who visits Assam to watch this beautiful forest and above all no body can leave this place without giving a single word of appreciation to Mr Jadev.