In 2012 we shared the story of Jadav Payeng, a man who single-handedly and with dogged determination planted an entire forest in Assam. Now, you have a chance to watch his story in this captivating short film – Forest Man.
Jadav was 16 year old when he first realized the need to plant a tree. A flood had left hundreds of reptiles dead in his sandbar and the teenager was grief stricken.
“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,” he recalls.
For the next 30 years Jadav continued to plant trees. His dedication was rewarded when gradually wild animals began to take refuge in the forest. There were deers, passing elephants, a rhino (Sadly, the rhino was killed by poachers in August 2012 ) and 5 tigers!
FOREST MAN is a short documentary (merely 16 minutes) on Jadav Payeng, co-created by Polygon Window Productions and Title Media. Made by Canada based William Douglas McMaster, and narrated by Jitu Kalita, a Jorhat-based journalist who writes a popular column on nature in Prantik, an Assamese magazine, the film won the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts short film documentary award for 2013.
Watch, Forest Man, to know about Jadav Payeng and take inspiration from his lifelong love for nature and wildlife.
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