Forest Man of India Jadav Payeng and Brand Ambassador of ‘Clean & Green Village’ campaign in Assam, who had stepped in Handique Milan gaon of Simenchapori in Dhemaji district on Thursday, asked the local villagers to protect and promote the greenery for healthy survival of their future generation.
Payeng was speaking on day-long awareness meeting on ‘Clean & Green Village’ mission organized by MyGov Assam at Handique Milan gaon, which has been selected as Clean & Green village under the mission.
Payeng, who has got international recognition for creating single-handed scrawling forest in Jorhat district, said there was no alternative of plantation to reduce global warming and conservation of the ecosystems.
The forest man also made an ardent call to the student community to save the environment from vanishing into oblivion of widespread deforestation. He further stated that one should inculcate the habit of planting one tree each day, instead of spending a large amount of money on a single day in the world environment day.
Recalling his efforts in forest creation in a 550-hactare sandbar in the middle of Brahmaputra in Jorhat district, Payeng said that 1979 deluge (known as China flood in Upper Assam) washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. He found the place dotted with the dead reptiles after the flood waters had receded, which pained his wildlife enthusiastic mind and influenced him to create forest in order to save the wild species.
“I asked the forest department to conduct plantation in the sandbars but they refused to do it, said that nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try to grow bamboo, which I finally achieved without any one’s help. I subsequently conducted plantation in large scale in the sandbar and finally achieved success in creation of a dense forest”, Payeng explained before the audience amidst great applause.
“Soon, there was a variety of flora and fauna which burst in the sandbar including endangered animals like one-horned rhino, different species of deer and Royal Bengal tigers. After 12 years, we have seen vultures besides flocking of various migratory birds”, Payeng added.
The forest man also said that he faced many threats from the local people time to time as many wild animals spotted in his forest disturbed human habitat, but he was never disheartened.
“The locals, whose homes were destroyed by the pachyderms thrived, wanted to cut down my forest, but I dared them to kill me instead”, Payeng shared.
Addressing the occasion, Jonai MLA Bhuban Pegu said the government through its Swachh Bharat Mission has been trying to make the people aware to live healthy life avoiding open defecation practices.
He observed that destruction of natural resources was causing environmental degradation, which the mankind lately realized. He urged the local villagers to maintain cooperation for successful implementation of the welfare schemes.
Speaking the occasion, Dhemaji Deputy Commissioner R A Korati requested local villagers to change their mindset and obey hygienic rules for their healthy living. She asked the people to report their problems to local administration for taking up remedial measure in time.
Earlier, MyGov Assam team member Deepjyoti Handique explained objectives of the mission and said that their Clean & Green village campaign was to make Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s ‘Clean & Green Assam’ dream into reality. He informed that the state has selected 33 villages in 33 districts to develop ‘Clean & Green village’.