The Molai Forest, named after its creator, was once a degraded area washed away by floods. Teenager Jadav noticed a huge decline in the numbers of migratory birds and dying snake in nearby forest area and wetland.

The observer teen soon turned to his elders and asked, “What if all of us die like these snakes one day? To which the grown-ups only laughed. But, the teen consoled himself saying “I will only make the planet greener.”

Since that day, Jadav started planting bamboo in the deteriorated wetland. During which, he found a riverine island on the Brahmaputra river banks and planted many saplings. He untiringly did this for three long decades. His work paid off and the wasteland came up as a beautiful green forest.

In 1980,  Jadav started working as a labour with the social forestry division in Golaghat. The team there launched a tree plantation scheme on 200 hectares at Aruna Chapori in Jorhat district. The scheme took five years to complete and Jadav stood back there even after its completion. He looked after the flora and planted more trees. This was his dedication towards the environment.

Forest is his home now. The man sacrificed everything, while his colleagues grew up as engineers. He calls the 'recognition and awards' he got his 'wealth.' Jadav, now a 52-year-old man, finds all his happiness in these forest and the fauna around.

This year, Jadav was honoured with Padma Shri.

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