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Jadav Molai Peyang: Forest Man of India

Jadav Molai Peyang, 'Forest Man of India' single-handedly plants 1360 acre of forest on a barren sandbar.

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Indian Forest Man
Jadav Peyang, Forest Man of India. Wikimedia Commons.

There are many international organizations that have been working to save our planet from many harms of deforestation but there is one Indian man who, single-handedly, gave rise to the forest in 1360 acre land and converted it into the man-made forest in India and that man is Jadav Molai Peyang.
Jadav Peyang’s story was first discovered by journalist Jitu Kalita when he was stalking the vultures on the other end of Arun Sapori, an over 1,000-hectare riverine island on the Brahmaputra when he saw the forested area and found Peyang’s story there.
The forest man has planted over 1500-saplings since 1980 which has grown into the famous, Molai Kathoni, the forest famously named after his maker. Peyang had started this initiative as a teenager who started planting bamboo in the woodland after he had witnessed deaths of several snakes at the shore when water had resided from the area after a flood. Following that horrifying scenario, he sought the advice from the village elders who asked him to grow a forest as only the forest can save the lives of birds and animals. Since then, Peyang’s Molai Forest has developed its own ecosystem as deer, rabbits, rhinoceros, Bengal tigers, birds, insects have inhabited the forest which consists of trees such as Bamboo, valcol, Arjun, Pride of India, silk trees, cotton trees, to name a few. But it was a herd of 100 elephants that brought the attention of Assam’s forest department on Peyang in 2008. The elephants pay a yearly visit to his forest and give birth to their calves in the comfort there.
But the journey of creating a barren sandbar in the middle of the river Brahmaputra of Assam into the thriving forest that it is today wasn’t easy.
In the initial stages, he found planting trees extremely difficult and time-consuming but now as he gets the seeds from the trees, the forest seems to live on itself.
The forest man was the first part of the 5-year project launched by the Assam Forestry Division in Aruna Chapori in 1980 with an aim to reforest two hundred hectares of land. Peyang enrolled for the job and started planting trees for the project though, the project was finished in five years, Peyang had stayed and spread his own project bigger than Central Park, NYC (842.6 acres). Since his first project, he has been invited to several environmental conferences, conferred many honors among which is Padam Shri, the highest civilian award and ‘Forest Man of India’ by JNU along with the recent honor bestowed on Jitu Kalita and Jadav Peyang by Taiwan Government for their efforts.
The forest man’s story is full of inspiration and compassion as he keeps providing shelter to various insects and animals while his family, which consists of two sons, a daughter, and his wife subsides on the income provided by their livestock, there is a lot to learn from him. He had braved several threats and all he has to say to them, ‘Kill me first, before you kill my forest,’ but his ideas for the world remains unknown among the several honors.

Samridhi Nain. Samridhi is a student of Philosophy (Hons.) from University of Delhi.

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Plants And Trees Can Curb Pollution More Effectively Than Technology

To start understanding the effect that trees and other plants could have on air pollution, the researchers collected public data on air pollution and vegetation

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Plants
A Study found that adding trees or other plants could lower air pollution levels in both urban and rural areas, though the success rates varied depending on, among other factors, how much land was available to grow new plants and the current air quality. Pixabay

Plants and trees may be better and cheaper options than technology to mitigate air pollution, says a new study from an Indian-origin researcher.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, found that adding plants and trees to the landscapes near factories and other pollution sources could reduce air pollution by an average of 27 per cent.

Researchers found that in 75 per cent of the countries analysed, it was cheaper to use plants to mitigate air pollution than it was to add technological interventions – things like smokestack scrubbers – to the sources of pollution.

“The fact is that traditionally, especially as engineers, we don’t think about nature; we just focus on putting technology into everything,” said Indian-origin researcher and study lead author Bhavik Bakshi from the Ohio State University.

“And so, one key finding is that we need to start looking at nature and learning from it and respecting it. There are win-win opportunities if we do – opportunities that are potentially cheaper and better environmentally,” he added.

To start understanding the effect that trees and other plants could have on air pollution, the researchers collected public data on air pollution and vegetation on a county-by-county basis across the lower 48 states.

Then, they calculated what adding additional trees and plants might cost. Their calculations included the capacity of current vegetation – including trees, grasslands and shrublands – to mitigate air pollution.

They also considered the effect that restorative planting – bringing the vegetation cover of a given county to its county-average levels – might have on air pollution levels.

Plants
Plants and trees may be better and cheaper options than technology to mitigate air pollution, says a new study from an Indian-origin researcher. Pixabay

They estimated the impact of plants on the most common air pollutants – sulfur dioxide, particulate matter that contributes to smog, and nitrogen dioxide.

They found that adding trees or other plants could lower air pollution levels in both urban and rural areas, though the success rates varied depending on, among other factors, how much land was available to grow new plants and the current air quality.

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The findings indicate that nature should be a part of the planning process to deal with air pollution, and show that engineers and builders should find ways to incorporate both technological and ecological systems. (IANS)