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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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Creativity, Not In Business For Indian Fashion

As his fraternity scales up brands and diversifies its product ranges, designer Rocky S sits pretty – he broke that ground years ago

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fashion, Indian, international, business
Santa Fe Indian Market Fashion show 2014. Wikimedia Commons

As his fraternity scales up brands and diversifies its product ranges, designer Rocky S sits pretty – he broke that ground years ago. The designer insists that creativity is always serious business.

“I diversified my product range and brand almost five years ago. The Rocky S brand has a high street label called ‘RS’ and I tied up with Shoppers Stop for retail in its over 60 stores across the country. Everything is under Rs 2,000. I also have a perfume line, a furniture line and I have also launched my own resto-bar,” said the designer.

Asked whether he is also looking to scale up the Rocky S brand, he said, “I’m always looking at the possibility for new things, one of which is to establish my brand internationally. But for that I need to build the brand to the level, where I can engage with an investor, a partner who knows the international space and can spearhead the collaboration, leaving me to do the creative work. I do believe there is a right time and a place for everything, and when my time for an international collaboration comes, I will make the best of it.”

fashion, Indian, international, business
A model wears a Naga costume designed by Thunyatorn Ng at New York Fashion Week 2018. (VOA)

At the moment, the designer, who has dressed the likes of Beyoncé, Paris Hilton and the Pussycat Dolls, is gearing up for his seventh showcase at the prestigious London Fashion Week. And his collection is inspired from a royal Bougainvillea garden with summery colours such as fuschia, hot pink, dusky orange and a hint of the dark side with hues like black, grey and ivory. “The style is easy with loose trousers, anti-fit shirt, flirty dresses,” he said.

Rocky S reveals that his decision to focus on the London Fashion Week was driven by the need to focus on the business of fashion, without getting bogged down with the business of celebrity influencers and paid partnerships.

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“I realised long back that creativity is not at the forefront of fashion in India. Much of fashion week today is about influencers and celebrity collaborations. Actors dictate fashion, the media loves to add and promote the frenzy. That’s one of the reasons why I prefer the London platform, it looks at trends for the upcoming season, setting the tone and the tempo. It’s not following trends or only about who is wearing you clothes,” explained the designer.

So while influencers and paid partnerships might be the big game right now, the designer insists that creativity is always serious business. (IANS)