Assam's man gets recognition from Queen Elizabeth II

Assam's forest man gets recognition from Queen Elizabeth II

Photo: Nicholas Low with Jadav Payeng in Guwahati recently. (Photo credit: British Deputy High Commissioner's office, Kolkata)
Jadav Payeng, known as Forest Man of India for transforming a barren sandbar along the Brahmaputra in eastern Assam into a 1,360 acre of vibrant wildlife haven by planting trees in the past 40 years has received the 128th Commonwealth Points of Light award, which includes a certificate signed by Queen Elizabeth II.
 
The award which is a personalised certificate signed by The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth was handed over to Payeng in Guwahati by Nick Low, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata, recently. Payeng was selected for the award in honour of his exceptional voluntary service to environmental conservation.
 
Concerned over rising in temperature in the sandbar, a part of which is in Majuli island, Payeng started planting trees 40 years ago and silently transformed the sandbars into a forest. The land is now a paradise for biodiversity, including the endangered Bengal tigers and vultures. Jadav plans to plant 5,000 more acres of trees on Majuli to create a 500-mile stretch of flora on the banks of Brahmaputra River, said a statement issued by the British Deputy High Commissioner's office.
 
It said the award is given to inspirational volunteers across 53 Commonwealth nations as part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth - for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.
 
"By sharing these stories of service, the Commonwealth Points of Light awards celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time," said the statement.
 
Quoting Jan Thompson, acting British High Commissioner to India, the statement said, “Jadav’s work is an inspiration to us all at the start of the United Kingdom’s Year of Climate Action.”
 
Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata said Payeng's efforts in defence of shared environment put Assam on the global map and would inspire millions others to do their bit for climate action.
 
The Commonwealth is a diverse community of 53 nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace. The heads of government meeting brought together leaders from all the 53 member countries to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree how to work to create a better future for all citizens, especially young people. Voluntary service is a vital part of this agenda, which is why Her Majesty The Queen has chosen to recognise outstanding volunteers across the Commonwealth in this special way, said the statement.
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