GUWAHATI: Assam’s environmental activist Jadav Payeng has been named as the 128th Commonwealth Points of Light Award winner.
Called the “Forest Man of India”, he will be felicitated by the British Deputy High Commission at a programme in Guwahati on March 11.
The award is in recognition to his outstanding services to environmental conservation, it was learnt. Last Saturday, he was conferred with the Karmayogi Award for 2020 in New Delhi.
“I am feeling very happy to have heard the news from you. It will inspire me to work harder,” Payeng told this newspaper.
“If there are no trees, there won’t be any life. So, we all should keep growing trees and not fell them,” he said.
The activist shot to fame by singlehandedly transforming a 550-hectare barren sandbar right on the middle of the Brahmaputra into a sprawling forest. His relentless efforts earned him the “Forest Man of India” title and the Padma Shri.
Located in Assam’s Jorhat district, the forest, created by Payeng over a period of more than 30 years, has over one lakh trees and is home to wild animals, birds and snakes. They keep coming to the forest from Kaziranga National Park, which is not far away.