Forest man Jadav Payeng’s story finds place in US school textbooks

Padma Shri award-winning environmentalist Jadav Payeng, popularly called the ‘Forest man of India’, is now part of textbooks in the United States.

As per reports, Payeng’s efforts to raise a forest at a barren sandbar in Majuli, Assam is being taught to the sixth grade students in Bristol Connecticut.

“The students are studying about Padma Shri Jadav Payeng as a part of their ecology lesson,” Navamee Sharma, a teacher at Greene Hills School in Bristol Connecticut, was quoted as saying by Deccan Herald.

She added: “The primary reason was to inspire and encourage future generations of the country on how a single person can make a huge positive impact in the world if he or she has the right attitude and determination.”

Payeng, who nearly for 40 years kept planting trees that stretch is now a lush 1,360-acre forest, was also recently honoured with the 128th Commonwealth Points of Light award, which includes a certificate signed by Queen Elizabeth II, for his exceptional voluntary service to environmental conservation.

Sharma, who hails from neighbouring Jorhat district, further said students in the US school also watched two documentaries on Jadav Payeng as part of their curriculum. Some other schools in Bristol also taught Payeng’s story.

“His (Jadav Payeng) story is so powerful because he was inspired by an ecological problem at a young age and took action to help fix it,” Dawn Killiany, another teacher at Green Hills School told the newspaper.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed it as a proud moment for the state. “Inclusion of the ‘Forest Man of India’ in the curriculum of an American educational institution reflects his global reputation. This is a proud moment for Assam. I urge everyone to take inspiration from his works and together strive to protect and conserve our environment and biodiversity,” Sonowal tweeted.

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