Jadav ‘Molai’ Payeng – The man who made a forest

We are going to introduce the real hero ‘ Jadav Molai Payeng ‘ “The man who made a forest” . He creates forest single handedly on Brahmaputra sandbar. He is appreciated with so many awards because of his hard work. Jadav Molai Payeng born in 1963. He belongs to Mishing tribe. He is well known as a environmental activist and forestry worker from Jorhat, India.

Over the cause of several decades, he, himself planted and tended trees on a sandbar of the river Brahmaputra turning it into a forest reserve.

This forest called a “Molai Forest” only because of his great work. Molai forest located nearby Kokilamukh  of Jorhat, Assam India and this encompasses an area about 1360 acres / 550 hectares .

In 2015, he was honoured with ‘Padma Shri’ , The fourth highest civilian award in India.


To know about him more, It is very important to give flashback to his career. He started his work in 1979,  Payeng in that he was 16 years old, he encountered a large member of snakes unfortunately that had died due to excessive heat after floods washed them onto the tree-less sandbar. After that he tried his luck again and then he planted around 20 bamboo seedlings   on the sandbar. So, he started working on the forest in 1979. In that time, the social forestry division of Golaghat District launched a scheme of tree plantation on 200 hectares at Aruna Chapoli situated at a distance of 5 KM from Kokilamukh in Jorhat District..

Molai was one of the Laborers who worked in that project. He chose to stay back after the completion of the project even after other works left. He continued to plant more trees on this own, in an efforts to transform the area into forest.

In the forest, which come to be known as Molai Forest, now houses of Bengal Tigers, Indian Rhinoceros and over 100 Deer and Rabbits. Molai forest is also home of apes and several varieties of birds, including large number of vultures. There are several thousand trees, including  valcol, arjun, ejar, goldmohur, koroi, moj and himolu.

His effort became known to the authorities in 2008. The officers were surprised to see such a large and dense forest and since then the department visited the site regularly.

Personal Life:

Jadav Payeng a simple and a down to earth person who belongs to a tribe called ‘Mishing’ in Assam. He lives in small hut with his Wife and his three children (2 Sons and a Daughter) accompany him.


Jadav Payeng was honoured at a public function arranged by the School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University on 22 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”. In the month of October 2013, he was honoured at Indian Institute of Forest Managementduring their annual event Coalescence. In 2015, he was honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India.

The 2013 film documentary Foresting life, directed by the Indian documentary filmmaker Aarti Shrivastava, celebrates the life and work of Jadav Payeng in the Molai forest. These are also the focus of William Douglas McMaster’s 2013 film documentary Forest Man. With 8,327 USD pledged on its Kickstarter campaign, the film was brought to completion and taken to a number of film festivals. It was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase in the American Pavilion at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

So this is called the real hero who did a great work for India.

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