The island would have long vanished had it not been for the will and determination of Jadav Payeng who, 40 years ago, came to the realization that, if he doesn’t step up and do something about it, the island he calls home would soon become a burial ground for its once-thriving wildlife. So, without any hesitation, Payeng began a one-man reforestation project that lasted forty years. Day by day, tree by tree, the man managed to transform the barren land the island’s ground had become into 550 hectares of lush, green forestry. For comparison, that’s almost twice the size of New York’s Central Park.
It is believed that Payeng’s actions have prolonged the river island’s life by several years – maybe even decades – preventing its residents from having to pack up and seek refuge somewhere else. What’s more, Bengal tigers and Indian rhinoceroses – both of which are placed on the WWF’s endangered species list – now thrive in this forest and call it home.
To watch a small documentary about the fascinating story of Jadav Payeng and how he managed to revive his home island, look no further.