For many people the sight of a dead snake would be an unpleasant but not tragic image, but for Indian activist Jadav “Molai” Payeng it was a call to action that inspired him to create an entire forest. When Payeng was just a teenager in 1979 he came across a bed of dead snakes on the sun-baked shores of the Brahmaputra river. The limbless beasts had been stranded on the barren banks and perished in the unmitigated heat due to the lack of shade or tree cover. Payeng wept over the corpses but resolved to turn his sadness into action.
Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to several thousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife — including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers.The forest, aptly called the “Molai woods” after its creator’s nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man — Payeng, who is now 47.
According to the Asian Age, Payeng has dedicated his life to the upkeep and growth of the forest. Accepting a life of isolation, he started living alone on the sandbar as a teenager — spending his days tending the burgeoning plants.
Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children and makes a living selling cow and buffalo milk, OddityCentral.com reports.
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