SILCHAR: One remembers Sunderlal Bahuguna, the leader of 'chipko movement', a concept of his wife Vimla, to fight for the preservation of forests in the Himalayas. The movement was widely acclaimed and described as 'unique.' Women stood around trees holding them in their tight grip to prevent timber mafia from axing them. Bahuguna has left the world recently, but his movement will never be forgotten by naturalists and environmentalists as well as people in general.
Who can forget Jadav Payeng. World wide famed as 'man of forests.' He has been on his mission since 1979 to grow forests on the sand bar of Majuli Island that came to be known as 'Molai Forest' after his nick name Molai now abundant with lush green trees, flora and fauna. He was awarded Padmashri.
Saalumarada Thimmakka, aged 100 plus, is yet another environmentalist from the state of Karnataka who rose to fame for her dedicated work in planting and tending to 385 banyan trees along a four kilometre stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur. She has also planted 8000 other trees. She is now a legend decorated with Padma Shri. With the support of her husband, she found solace in planting. She received no formal education and worked as a casual labourer in a nearby quarry.
About Green Man of Ayodhya
But the man from a village not far from this town of Silchar who lived and died for nature left this world 'unheard of, unsung and unhonoured' is almost a forgotten person. The man Ayodhya Dhobi, a cowherd, might not have grown a forest but in his own humble way planted and tended trees of mangos, jackfruits, guava, litchi and jam. He died 20 years ago and nobody knew about him and his eco-friendly works until some naturalists like Pathankar Choudhury in course of their research on biodiversity tumbled on the story of Ayodhya to share with The Sentinel.
Born at Majhagram, an obscure and tranquil village, near Dayapore tea estate under Udharbond police station, 12 kms from here, Ayodhya with no formal education, in his obsession with nature, planted trees on a stretch of 3 km road from Dayapore to Majhagram. One who travels by the road has to marvel at the beauty of nature and the hard work of Ayodhya. Divisional Forest Office here can emulate the example of the cowherd to add boost to its 'Go Green Campaign'.