The Forest Man of India: A Pioneer of Tree Plantation
The forests of the planet are natural filters that combat and diminish the ill effects of pollution. These kingdoms of greenery maintain the balance of fragile ecosystems and prevent extreme climatic changes. Unfortunately, in this age of globalization, human beings are so busy chasing their material goals that they have forgotten about the most valuable resources that are crucial for their sustenance. Expansive forests are cleared to make way for industrialization, which further releases harmful toxins into the atmosphere. The pledge to protect Mother Nature is limited to meetings and petitions that are not followed by any action. You may have even participated in a plantation drive but did you ever go back to check on the growth of those saplings?
To restore the former glory of the forests, we need to take regular and consistent measures. Thankfully, there are some individuals and NGO’s that have devoted themselves to this cause. One such revolutionary is Padmashri Jadav Molai Payeng, the forest man of India, who single-handedly erected a forest on the sandbars of Brahmaputra River. Hailing from a small village near Jorhat in Assam, Payeng started this selfless endeavour at the tender age of 16, in 1979. Years of planting and nurturing the trees gave birth to a forest spanning 1500 acres, in a previously barren land.
The Molai forest is an inspiring example of how every individual’s efforts can make a huge difference when it comes to preserving the environment.
It is time to follow the footsteps of Jadav Payeng, to donate your sweat for the well-being of the present and future generations. Planting at least one plant a year and tending to it on a regular basis is the bare minimum that we should do for the planet that has given us so much.
Here are some of the ways in which you can become an active contributor to the conservation of our forests-
1. Participate In Plantation Drives
Do participate in the tree planting day activities that are carried out by different organisations from time to time. However, also make a conscious effort to regularly monitor the condition of the trees that you plant on such occasions. Ensure that they receive their daily requirement of water and sunlight. The survival of these saplings is what is needed to restore the lost forest cover.
You will be astounded to know about the total area of forests that have been destroyed till date in the name of industrial expansion and urbanization. Reforestation is the need of the hour so that we can account for each tree that has been cut down. We need to ensure that for every tree that is killed, another is planted in the vicinity or at a different location.
3. Protect Existing Forests
Although enough damage has already been done, let us unite to prevent further destruction of the remaining forests. Various organisations and individuals run campaigns to protest against the cutting down of forests for building factories or residential complexes. Promote these initiatives and encourage more people to speak up against such acts of deforestation. If the nation comes together, the sounds of protest will be heard by the relevant authorities.
4. Educate Others About Forest Conservation
Lack of awareness can lead to the destruction of acres of vegetation. Organize awareness camps and seminars where you educate the masses regarding the simple steps that can protect our forests. Discuss the measures that need to be taken to prevent forest fires. Making the population realize how they can contribute to environmental conservation is the first step in the right direction.
5. Raise Awareness Through Tourism
Several Eco-tourism initiatives offer the travelers a chance to witness untamed nature at close quarters. This journey through the forests makes the people realize the beauty and significance of this ecosystem and the need to protect it at all costs. You can play your role by joining such tours and inviting your friends and family to participate in Eco-tourism as well.
Every drop of your sweat that falls on the soil will help a sapling to flourish and grow into a marvellous tree.
By sparing some time and effort for restoring our forests, you will leave behind a precious legacy for the next generation. Equally important is the retention of urban greenery, so that our cities do not get consumed by clouds of poisonous gases. You can contribute in various ways towards enhancing the vegetation of urban areas as well.
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