Forest Man of India – Jadav Payeng single handedly planted 1360 acres of forest over 37 years

Jadav “Molai” Payeng has single handedly converted a barren land to a 1300+ acres of forest. From age of 16, in year 1979, he started planting trees.  Over 37 years, it has become a massive forest of 1360 acres.

The forest that Payeng grew now houses five Royal Bengal tigers, over a hundred deer, wild boar, more than a hundred vultures, several species of birds, including pelicans, three or four greater one-horned rhinoceroses, besides of course, the snakes, who were at the genesis of this extraordinary story. A herd of 115 elephants visits regularly for 3-4 months. 

He also got Padm Shri award for his efforts.



His life and efforts were also the focus of William Douglas McMaster’s 2013 film documentary Forest Man which was brought to completion using funds raised at Kickstarter (USD 8327). It was awarded the Best Documentary prize at the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase in the American Pavilion at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. You can see the film below (16 mins video):


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