Assam : Book Themed On “Forest Man Of India” – Jadav Payeng Shortlisted For ‘North Carolina Children’s Book Award’ 

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The Boy Who Grew a Forest, themed on the “Forest Man of India” – Jadav Payeng are among the 12 books shortlisted for the coveted ‘North Carolina Children’s Book Award’.

Authored by the American award-winning children’s book author Sophia Gholz and illustrated by Kayla Harren, the children’s book has been selected under Picture Books Category.

Taking to social media platforms, Sophia expressed gratitude for the honour. “The Boy Who Grew A Forest has been shortlisted for the 2023 North Carolina Children’s Book Award! @NCCBABooks Wow! Thank you for this honor. I hope the kids of NC find inspiration in Jadav Payeng’s story. You can see the full list of books here :” – she wrote.

“After an author visit in Feb, I sent a box of books & a stack of letters from 3rd graders to Jadav Payeng in India. I’m happy to say the box, which also included the German (not pictured–but it’s there!) & French editions of The Boy Who Grew a Forest, finally made it!” – she further added.

Its worthy to note that Jadav Payeng, ordained as the “Forest Man of India” singlehandedly raised a forest sprawling over 550 hectares; and transformed a barren landscape along Assam’s Majuli into a beautiful forest, named as – ‘Molai Forest’.

Photo Credit : Jadav Payeng – “The Forest Man of India”/Facebook

Initially, Payeng commenced to plant bamboo and subsequently shifted towards other species. Planting trees seemed to be a time-consuming method, until the plants began to produce their own seed. As his forest grew in size, so did the number of inhabitants. Hundreds of species of birds, deers, rhinos, and tigers soon populated the forest, which included a herd of elephants who strayed into his territory three months of the year.

Payeng’s greatest fear is commercial deforestation, which exposes the flora and animals to human avarice. He argues that humans fail to grasp the importance of reforestation and valuing nature – which is the key to survival.

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