Incredible Story about ‘Forest Man’ that Makes You Believe in Humanity


Perhaps, you all remember the good old story about the star thrower. It’s about a man who walked on the beach every morning.
One day, after a big storm had passed he saw the vast beach was littered with starfish all around. He also noticed a small boy who occasionally picked something up and threw it into the sea.

The man then said: “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man said, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!” (adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

Our story is also about one little man whose small deeds changing the world around.



Who is a Forest Man of India?

This man is Jadav Payeng, also known as  the “Forest Man of India.” He is a modest farmer from a marginalized tribal community in state of Assam, India.

Jadav Payeng, 53, over the period of 40 years planted tens of thousands of trees on a desiccated island in the Brahmaputra river, which runs through his home state.

“Earlier, this was all sand. No trees, no grass — nothing was here. Only driftwood. Now, seeds of grass carried downriver from China wash up, and pollinate, on their own.”


Source: NPR

The forest creator

Payeng still keeps in memories that the island was attached to the mainland. But due to the erosion from powerful river waters of the Brahmaputra severed it. Now it is blooming island that makes hard to believe it’s a result of one man actions.

“It’s not as if I did it alone,” says the self-styled naturalist. “You plant one or two trees, and they have to seed. And once they seed,” he adds reverentially, “the wind knows how to plant them, the birds here know how to sow them, cows know, elephants know, even the Brahmaputra river knows. The entire ecosystem knows.”

As Payeng explained, it all started after he was impressed when saw dead snakes piled on the sand in scorching temperatures, perished for lack of shade or tree cover, that it inspired him to start planting in late 1979.

“When I saw it, I thought even we humans will have to die this way in the heat. It struck me. In the grief of those dead snakes, I created this forest.”


Source: NPR

Wild nature edem

Over the course of nearly four decades, Payeng says he’s planted so many trees, he’s “lost count.” He estimates there are “hundreds of thousands” of them on the island now, groves so thick they shocked even the Forest Department when it stumbled on them.

As for now, there are plenty of wild animals in this handmade forest, including tigers, deer, monkeys, elephants, and a wide variety of birds.

But Jadav Payeng calls this island his home and has no fear.

“I never feel danger in the forest,” says this self-described lone wolf. “It’s my biggest home”.

“I wasn’t scared,” he says. “I know that tigers have half the courage of women. This one killed a buffalo, saw me, and slinked off.”

When asked how he has sustained his passion, Payeng strikes a metaphysical tone. “No one sees God,” he says. “I see God in nature. Nature is God. It gives me inspiration. It gives me power … As long as it survives, I survive.”


Source: Carlo Bevilacqua

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Incredible Forest Man Story that Makes You Believe in Humanity
Incredible Forest Man Story that Makes You Believe in Humanity
Our story is also about one little man whose small deeds changing the world around.
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