Documentary Title: Foresting Life
Documentary Category: 69 Minute Feature Documentary
Directed By: Aarti Shrivastava
In a world where uncaring Eco-terrorists undertake deforestation, this story is about one man’s generous drive behind creating the world’s first man-made forest on a sandbar. It is the biggest forest in the middle of the river Brahmaputra in Assam, India.
This feature takes an inside look at the life of Jadav Payeng who single handedly planted trees over the last 35 years and transformed a 1400 acre sandbar into a self sustaining forest ecosystem. He has carved his name in the history of environment and tells a gripping tale of how his forest fails to get any support from the government or global agencies at large. Despite his great feat, he is still treated as a social outcast who lives in a small hut, with no electricity or water connection. The film experiences eyebrow raising moments that throw light on his personal life where his obsession for creating forests took a toll on his family, where his wife and three kids were completely unable to comprehend this obsession.
The film documents his everyday struggle with the bureaucracy for providing security to his forest from poachers and illegal woodcutters and that he continues to undertake this path that he had vowed to follow 35 years back despite being continuously threatened for his life by his own village folks. This film emotionally touches the audience with a dynamic display of human elements necessary for reformation and the will to succeed.
After getting neglected by almost everyone, despite his great work, Jadav raises a question, “When you have sacrificed everything for the Nation’s glory and achieved so much that no one can even imagine, and then realize that nobody even cares about it… What are you supposed to do?”
It’s a question India and its citizens need to deeply ponder about. Today, when planet earth is suffering, there are a few stories that inspire us and help us discover human potential – It is time that environmentalists and global agencies bring to light Jadav’s historical journey as an example of selfless love for the planet. Our leaders, academicians, environmentalists and citizens of the world need to contemplate and realize that one man can make a difference, one tree at a time.
This story is not just about creating a world but it’s about creating a world against all possible odds. It is an emotional, thought-provoking 69-minute documentary by an award winning filmmaker Aarti Shrivastava, revealing one of the greatest human journeys in the history of environment.
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