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The Forest Man of India

Commonwealth Point of Light 128. Jadav Payeng

Jadav Payeng, representing India, is an environmental activist known widely as 'The Forest Man of India' who has transformed a treeless sandbar along the Brahmaputra River into a 1,360 acre vibrant wildlife haven.

Jadav Payeng

Jadav was inspired to take action 40 years ago when he noticed that local wildlife was dying out due to excessive heat on the island. The land is now a paradise for biodiversity, including the endangered Bengal tigers and vultures. Jadav plans to plant 5,000 more acres of trees on Majuli to create a 500-mile stretch of flora on the banks of Brahmaputra River.

Jadav received his award at a dedicated ceremony held by the UK High Commission in Kolkata, and was presented with his award by Deputy British High Commissioner in India Nick Low (pictured left).

Jadav with family receiving his Commonwealth Points of Light award from Nick Low

Jan Thompson, Acting British High Commissioner to India, said:

“I was delighted to hear that Jadav Payeng, “the Forest Man of India”, had won the 128th Commonwealth Points of Light Award for his achievement in creating a forest reserve on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. Jadav’s work is an inspiration to us all at the start of the United Kingdom’s Year of Climate Action.”

Jadav said:

“I am so honoured by the recognition bestowed on me. This gives me added responsibility to work hard. Please accept my sincere gratitude.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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