Category Archives: The Important Rest

THE INCREDIBLE HANDS OF A HERO-JADAV PAYENG

jadav payeng
Jadav Payeng

 

Jadav Payeng – a man with a nondescript look incapable of even garnering a passerby’s first glance at him forget a second one.

BUT do yourself a favour and pause to get introduced to ‘THE JADAV PAYENG’-a 56-year-old hero who single-handedly transformed a barren sandbar into a 1360-acre forest thriving and flourishing with abundant plant and animal life.

Payeng belongs to the Mising tribe of northeast India, which is the second largest ethnic group in Assam after the Bodos. It all started in 1979 when Payeng was all of 16 years old and had chanced upon dead snakes, which were swept on- shore a tree-less sandbar by the devastating floodwaters of the mighty Brahmaputra.

Brahmaputra river
Brahmaputra-devastating!
Brahmaputra river
Brahmaputra-serene!

He was heart broken by this episode and he urged and requested the forest department to plant trees, which fell on deaf years. He was told to plant bamboo instead which was a very painstaking job. Nevertheless, he began doing so himself. Around the same year later the Social Forestry department of Golaghat district employed Payeng to work as a labourer on an afforestation project undertaken by them on Aruna sapori (which means an island). This project unfortunately got abandoned after 3 years of its commencement and everyone disappeared from the island. Since he had nowhere to go Payeng stayed back and continued nurturing and planting more trees by himself. He continued doing this for some shocking 30 years without any support or subsidies, fear or favour from anyone.

Due to his remarkable dedication, his efforts paid off. Molai Kathori (Molai is the name by which Payeng is fondly called & Kathori means forest ) as it is known today takes pride in providing a safe haven to the elephants migrating west from Dibrugarh, rhinos escaping the floods of Kaziranga and tigers fleeing the guns of Karbi Anglong. It is densely populated with innumerable trees like the Bamboo, Arjuna, Jamun, Mango, Shimul, Bhelo, Kadam, Amla, Neem and many more.

Molai forest
Molai Kathori
Molai Kathori
Elephant at Molai Kathori
Molai Kathori
Rhino at Molai Kathori
Molai Kathori
The Bengal tiger at Molai Kathori

Payeng stays on this island with his wife Binita, two sons Sanjay and Sanjiv and daughter Moonmooni.They live a life literally devoid of any frills even a basic necessity like electricity; there is no entertainment but yet they lead a very enriched life. They have 50 cows and buffaloes that live and graze in and around the forest. He earns his living from selling the milk that he procures from them.

A brilliant video by WELTFILME.org of Molai & his Stupendous sanctuary.A film by Ankur Didwania.

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The Jawaharlal Nehru University on earth Day has honoured Jadav Payeng, April 2012,with the title of ‘Forest Man of Assam’. He has also been awarded by the former president Abdul Kalam Azad,in Mumbai. He was also among the 900 specialists who had assembled in France at the 7th global conference of the International Forum for Sustainable Development .He has been honoured by Sanctuary Asia too.

 

He is not one of those who will rest his laurels and relax; he has taken upon again to himself to transform the barren island of Mekahi into a green haven. He believes that each and every child should be compulsorily taught Environmental Science; that children are the future and our only chance to sustain this beautiful earth and the animals and birds living in it.

 

Hats off to this unsung hero’s dedication and efforts!

 

LONG LIVE INCREDIBLE HANDS!

Nature’s gift of incredible colours – Natural Dyes

The art of producing natural dyes is one of the oldest art technique known to humans since ancient of times.

India has been an expert in the natural dyeing technique using natural dyes  procured  from plants, animals and shells since ages. A detailed account is given in the Atharvaveda- one of the four holy Vedas in India.Natural dyes were used as can be seen from the paintings on the walls of the legendary Ajanta and Ellora caves in India.

Ajanta
A painting using natural dyes in the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra.
Ellora
A painting using natural dyes on the ceiling of the Ellora caves in Maharashtra

 

 

 

 

The dyes are basically obtained naturally from different parts of  the  plants, animals & shells. The colour produced from the dye plant depends on the season they are picked in. The most intense colour are given by plants when they are in full bloom, like in the early spring.

Since these dyes are naturally obtained they provide important alternatives to synthetic dyes, which have a risk of toxicity, negative influence on the environment and a high allergic potential. Natural dyes are environmental –friendly as well as socially uplifting because locals are employed for its production.

The process of making natural dyes requires adeptness as well as respect towards nature. The plants and their respective parts, which are to be used in the process, are harvested at the right time without hurrying the process through other intrusive methods, which are against nature.

The dyeing process includes 3 steps:

1.The first step is the extraction of the colour matter from the respective plant part, which will yield that colour. Pounding that part and then boiling it in water for 10-20 minutes do the extraction.

2.The second step is to create and establish a strong bond between the colouring matter and the fibre with the help of mordants which are substances used to fix the dye to the fibres of the cloth. They help in better absorption of the dye by the fibres and improve the colourfastness. They are metallic salt of Aluminium, Copper, and Iron etc.; Vegetable dyes require mordants.

3.The third step is to dye the fibres in that respective colour obtained. The fibres are first thoroughly washed and then they are immersed in the dye extract along with the mordant at the required different temperatures for about 30-40 minutes. After this the fibres are squeezed of the excess dye solution and dried naturally.

I would like to share with you a very precise video showing the natural extraction of the Indigo dye  by the locals employed at KMA Exports in south India.Here is the link below:

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‘KMA exports is one of the Oldest and Largest manufacturer of Indigo Dye (Blue Gold) and Indigo leaves & powder (Hair dye). Its been three generations since we started this Indigo business. This traditional method results in producing the purest form of Indigo dye in an eco-friendly manner. Indigofera Tinctoria plant is considered to be very valuable in our Kongarapattu Village, Tamil Nadu, India.”

There are many,many natural resources from which natural dyes are obtained but listed here below are just a few of the plants and animal resources through which they are obtained:

1.The Lac dye which is red in colour is obtained from the residual resinous cocoon of Lacifer Lacca insects. Different shades can be obtained using different mordants like shades of red,purple,olive green and amethyst.

residual laclac dye

 

 

2.This is the Harda plant.the dye is made using the fruit of the Harda plant.It gives shades of yellow and grey using different mordants.

harda fruitHYM28KHATRI_3_1771122g

3.The whole plant of indigo ferra tinctoria is used for the extraction of the dye indigo blue

indigo feraindigo blue

 

4.The bark of the Catechu tree is used in the making of the dye.It gives brown,yellow,grey and black shades.

catechucatechu dye

 

5.The fruit rind of the pomegranate is used in the making of the dye.It gives us a yellow coloured dye.

pomogranatepomo

 

6.The Madder plant is one of the oldest source of natural dye. Its red roots are used to extract the dye.You get beautiful shades of red,orange and pink with this dye.

madder_rootsdyeing_madder_results-1024x389

The list is endless.We have been blessed and taken well care of by Mother Nature. All the aspects of our requirements have been well provided by her. It is up to us to care of her in return.

Be thoughtful.Go Natural.

Long Live Incredible hands!