What picture comes to your mind when you think of an island? Many of us think about a lush, beautiful oasis in the middle of the ocean. Although that may sometimes be the case, it isn’t so for Majuli. That island is the largest river island in the world but over the past seven decades, it has lost half of its landmass. There are also fears that it may disappear within the next 20 years.
One of the biggest problems with Majuli is seen in the erosion of the banks along the river. In many of the towns that are upriver from this island, they build embankments that help to protect their shores during the monsoon season. Unfortunately, those protections upstream cause the river to rage on Majuli when the season strikes.
35 different villages have washed away since 1991. The authorities in India are attempting to figure out the best way to save the island because it was disappearing so quickly. It may already have disappeared, however, if it wasn’t for somebody who loved the island and wanted to save it.
Majuli is the home of Jadav Payeng. It is the largest river island in the world.
The island is under constant threat because of soil erosion on its banks.
For the past 70 years, half of the island has disappeared and there are concerns that the other half may disappear within two decades.
If it weren’t for one resident who loves the island, it may actually have been shorter.
It began in 1979 when this man was only 16 years old.
He found many snakes who had died because of the heat that existed after the floods washed them onto the sandbar.
That is when he made it his mission to save the island by planting trees. He has done it every day for the past 39 years.
All in all, 550 hectares of forest were planted. That’s larger than New York City’s Central Park!
Many animals now call this island home.
You will find Indian rhinoceros and tigers on the island.
There are over 100 elephants in a herd that visits every year.
The large embankments upriver from this island are causing the shrinkage.
People build those embankments to protect their towns from the monsoon season.
Those embankments redirected the river to the island.
You can learn more about this man’s fight to save the island in this documentary video:
Many people love what this man is doing. Here are some of the comments:
@ Tee Bwn – Give this guy a Nobel Tree Prize! He deserves it!
@Eiabeth Caro – Stories like this need to be out on the news and all over to teach others about so many values. There are truly people with a golden heart. This man deserves recognition and maybe for someone to write a book.
@Kellan Cox – We should taught children about this man in schools. And be inspired from his service he has done us.
@Dibyajyoti Dang – This guy is from my state Assam, India and we are proud of him. He was honored with the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan.
@ Dilpreet Singh – I hope that place should get a name on this guy so everyone can know what he achieved in life respect for u sir
@ – Big Salute goes for this great man.
When many people and organization just kept talking about environmental threats, this guy went quietly and relentlessly fixing issues that nobody did even close in other parts of the world.
What this great man did is a lesson for all of us, that sometimes we really need to work many many times more than we speak.
Good luck, my Man
@Natasha K Blackman – This is how you win at being a decent human being
@Aaron Anil Dass – If only more city folks, could adopt his practice, use less plastic (straws, bottles, take away containers, etc), say no to shark fin and ivory.