On Thursday, the Amazon rainforests, Stone Forest, Seshachalam Forest, Sunderbans, forests of Maharashtra, Northern Cordillera, Montagne all came alive in the campus of South Indian Education Society (SIES) school at King Circle.
Models of these and other different types of forests across the world were recreated by 400 students and teachers of SIES as part of their three-day forest exhibition called ‘Vana Mahotsavam’.
It took almost a months’ hard work for the students and teachers to complete these models that were inaugurated on Thursday morning by former ISRO Chairman K Kasturirangan. The exhibit will be open for all till December 19.
Some of the leading forest models set up include Amazon rainforests, an art gallery on Red Forest, Stone Forest, Seshachalam Forest, bamboo forest, Crooked Forest, Quiver Forest, Sunderbans, sacred groves, evergreen forests, deciduous forests, coniferous forests, forests in Maharashtra, Northern Cordillera, Montagne, Haunted Forests, Agro Forests etc. Besides the forest models, several pictures and charts depicting various forests have also been created.
The interesting part of the exhibition however was the two guests or ‘Forest man’ as they are popularly known — Jadav Payeng from Assam and Abdul Kareem from Kasargod district in Kerala — who have created huge forests single-handedly in their states.
Hailing from Assamese tribal community ‘Mishing’, 52-year-old Payeng, is a recipient of Padma Shri award, and has converted 1,360 acres of land into jungle by planting bamboos. The forest is now home to Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, over hundreds of deer, rabbits, apes, around 100 elephants and several species of birds. Payeng lives in a small hut in the forest with his wife, and three children. “Instead of collecting donations, each school student should be asked to plant one saplings per year and should be increased by an additional saplings for the next five years. At the end of these five years, you will see the difference as students will start taking interest in protecting the plants,” said Payeng.
Kareem, 68, too created a forest all by himself by converting 32 acres of land. It was his determination to create a green cover that he converted a barren and rocky wasteland on a hillock in Puliyamkulam in Kasargod into “Kareem’s forest”.
Kareem said he had invested his earnings from what he earned in Gulf into creating and nurturing this forest. He had constructed small houses there for Adivasi villagers. “I now plan to use this land to build cottages and give it free of charge to those students who are interested in environment management and maintaining the forest. I live locally but think globally,” said Kareem.