Assam’s environment activist Jadav Payeng, who is known as the ‘Forest Man of India’, has been named as the winner of the 128th Commonwealth Points of Light Award.
A media report quoted a spokesperson of the British Deputy High Commission as saying that Jadav Payeng has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth II for his exceptional voluntary service to environmental conservation.
According to the report, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata, Nick Low, will felicitate Padma Jadav Payeng on March 11.
The Points of Light Award recognises people across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
Jadav Payeng, the conservationist and brand ambassador of the Clean and Green Village campaign in Assam, got international recognition for creating single-handedly a forest off the Brahmaputra near Jorhat.
He drew the attention of all across the world by transforming a treeless sandbar along the Brahmaputra river into a forest, which is a 550-hectare wildlife haven.
The 57-year-long conservationist has a long journey of over 40 years.
According to Payeng, the 1979 deluge (known as China flood in Upper Assam) washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar.
Payeng found the place dotted with the dead reptiles after the floodwaters had receded, which pained his wildlife enthusiastic mind and influenced him to create a forest in order to save the wild species.