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In 1979, after a flood near his hometown, a teenage Jadav Payeng witnessed snakes dying from heat due to the lack of tree cover on nearby sandbars. He asked the Assam forest department if he could plant trees to protect them but they dismissed him and told him only bamboo trees could survive in such dry, arid land.
Today, that same area, single-handedly grown by Mulai, as Payeng is known to his family and friends, is a lush forest. It covers over 1300 acres and is home to a variety of wildlife, such as Indian Rhinos, Bengal tigers, Asian Elephants, apes, deer, and birds.
Such an inspiring story that teaches us one person can make a difference.
Paffi S. Flood is a writer of YA fiction, an occasional blogger, and the author of "A Killing Strikes Home."