A man in India planted a forest bigger than central park
Jadav Payeng also known as 'Forest Man of India' has been working since 1979 to plant hundreds of trees to save his island, which is threatened by erosion. Northeast India's Majuli Island, the world's largest river island, was becoming a barren wasteland due to climate change. The Brahmaputra River that flows around it was eroding its shores at a steadily increasing rate. The island, home to 150,000 people, has lost over half its land mass to erosion since 1917. But Payeng, a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, is protecting it by turning it into an oasis with a forest larger than Central Park. This man has single-handedly created a thriving, 550 hectare forest from a 'barren' sandbar in the middle of the river Brahmaputra of Assam. The forest is now home to elephants, rhinos, tigers, and more, and Payeng must protect it from a new threat—the humans who want to use it for economic gain. Former President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam gave him the title 'Forest Man of India". In 2015, he was honored with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India.