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By Ulises Tuero Rodríguez
Since he was 17 years old, he has been planting trees daily on Majuli Island (India). With his effort and dedication, he transformed a sandy area in the middle of the Brahmaputra River into a huge forest. His feat put a stop to the disappearance of the island, which was decreasing due to the force of the water, and created a nature reserve with various animals that previously could not have survived on the island.
It all started when Jadav found dozens of dead reptiles on the river's sandbar due to lack of shade. He went to the official services where they gave him some bamboo seeds. Far from despairing he decided to act and planted the bamboo.
Later a government project was launched to plant 200 hectares of trees in a nearby area. Payeng participated during the five years that the task lasted. When the works were finished, he decided to stay in the area to continue reforesting the island.
Thirty-five years later, a huge forest replaces the sand where nothing was supposed to grow. An area full of life that is home to tigers, rhinos, elephants and various species of birds, the result of a person's efforts and full dedication to their cause.
The story of this great friend of nature is told in several documentary films such as "Forest Man". This local hero is the role model for many people. Their feat motivates them to try to change the world.
Thirty-five years dedicated to repopulating an area without life are the sample that many need to start acting. People like Payeng teach humanity that you only need to change yourself to start changing the world.