Jadav Payeng is an environmental activist and forestry worker from Jorhat, Assam, India. He upgraded a chapori of the river Brahmaputra to a reserve forest. The name of the forest is Mulai Kathoni. It is located near Kokilamukh of Jorhat, Assam, India, with a total area of about 1000 hectares.
Other Name : Mulai
Occupation : Forester
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Payeng started his journey of plantation in 1979. He started working on the forest in 1980 when the social forestry division of Golaghat district launched a scheme of tree plantation on 200 hectares at Aruna Chapori situated at a distance of 5 km from Kokilamukh in Jorhat district. Mulai was one of the labourers who worked in that project which was completed after five years. He chose to stay back after the completion of the project as others left. He not only looked after the plants, but continued to plant more trees on his own effort slowly transforming the area into a big forest.
Jadav Payeng lives in a small hut in the forest. Binita, his wife, and his 3 children (two sons and a daughter) accompany him. He has cattle and buffalo on his farm and sells the milk for his livelihood, which is his only source of income. In a recent interview he revealed that he lost around 100 of his cows and buffaloes to the tigers in the forest, but blames the people who carry out large scale encroachment and destruction of forests as the root cause of the plight of wild animals.
Mulai in a recent interview said that if the Forest Department promises to manage the forest in a better way, then he would go to other places of the state (Assam) to start a similar venture.
Not only tourists are flocking to the woods in droves, a famous British film-maker Tom Robert went there two years back to shoot one of his films.
Jadav Payeng was honoured at a public function arranged by the School of Environmenal Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University on 22nd April, 2012 for his remarkable achievement. He shared his experience of creating a forest in an interactive session, where Magsaysay Award winner Rajendra Singh and JNU vice-chancellor Sudhir Kumar Sopory were present. Sopory named Jadav Payeng as "Forest Man of India"
Source : wikipedia