The Forest Man Of India , Jadav Payeng is concern over lack of government guidelines to feed wild elephants

From Mayukh Goswami

Mangaldai : Jadav Payeng , the Padma-Shri recipient renowned nature conservationist who is also honoured as the ‘Forest Man of India’ has observed that rapid forest destruction , lack of necessary guidelines of the Central government grow plants to feed the wild jambos and plantation of timber plant “Segun” by the British rulers for wood to make boats has led to the present increase in the man and animals conflict in Assam . “ The govt of India has no such guidelines to address the problem of food for the wild elephants. One elephant needs three quintals food and ninety liters water per day.

 A grown up ‘Sagun’ tree doesn’t allow any other plants even grass to grow in nearby areas . That’s how growing of local variety of fruit plants which once happened to be major source of food for the monkeys stopped with the growing of Sagun trees planted by the British to use for boat manufacturing .” , Payeng said . “ Keeping in mind about these wild elephants and monkeys in two thousand hectares of land I have planted trees on which wild monkeys and elephants can live . Now animals eat there and take water from the Brahmaputra and don’t visit the residential villages of the locality.” , a confident Payeng added . He was participating in an open interaction following a felicitation by the Mangaldai Central Rongali Bihu celebration committee here at the historic Gandhi Maidan on April 15 afternoon. In his nearly one hour interactive session the eminent while sharing his past experiences of visiting many countries of the world including France , Mexico , Taiwan etc spoke many relevant issues to protect our bio diversity from the growing threats of global warming . “ The students from the early stage of primary standard should be given the ownership responsibility from plantation of a sapling and its nurturing till next five years . Then in later age of his student life he would protect not only that tree but also the other creatures living on it .” Payeng stated .

Similarly he believed in involving local community particularly the educated youths in protecting the forest and developing an attachment with the forest . He also highlighted how such practice in Kerala has not only stopped deforestation and also created major job avenues for local educated through small tourism business . Earlier office bearers of Rongali Bihu Sanmilan including its President cum Mangaldai Legislator Gurujyoti Das , its working president Rajib Kumar Deka , Secretary Manab Pratim Das , Pranjal Kumar Sarma among others greeted Jadav Payeng with a Bihuwan , a memento and a citation letter . Payeng also took part in plantation programme in the end . In the morning the sixty seventh edition of Mangaldai Central Rongali Bihu Sanmilan began with the hoisting of the flag by President Gurujyoti Das followed by ‘Srandhanjali anusthan’ initiated by prominent entrepreneur Mukul Kumar Deka . The inaugural day of the five day long celebration also featured felicitation to veteran academician and writer Dr Nagendra Nath Sharma , Physician and writer Dr Amarendra Narayan Deb , veteran folk artiste Bhandra Kanta Nath , handicraft artiste Phuleswar Deka and promising young cricketer Jinti Mani Kalita . The day also featured competitive cultural procession flagged off by Dr Bijay Kumar Sharma ,professor of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev University .

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