Jadav Payeng, also known as the Forest Man of India and a Padma Shri awardee environmentalist, has called for a week-long global lockdown to strike a balance in the ecosystem. Speaking on the theme ‘Indigenous Knowledge System’ at the Bodoland International Knowledge Festival at Bodoland University in Kokrajhar, Payeng expressed his serious concern about global warming and urged global leaders to take action towards conserving the environment and nature.
In his speech, Payeng emphasized that the concept ‘God is nature and nature is God’ and shared his personal experience of how giving a lockdown for a week in a year globally could help restore the balance of the ecosystem. He has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to preserve forests and green cover in India, highlighting that development at the cost of nature is a curse.
Payeng further advocated for 60 percent reservation for women, as he believes that they play a vital role in building human resource and eventually, this will help in striking the balance of the ecosystem. Addressing the students, Payeng recalled his early days when he started planting trees in 1979, which eventually turned out to be a huge forest after 30 years.
The Bodoland International Knowledge Festival at Bodoland University in Kokrajhar is being organised by Bodoland University under the aegis of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) government. On the second day of the festival, several seminars took place on themes like quality education, sustainable agriculture, behavior change, science & technology, gender empowerment, communication and media, human rights, child rights & protection and peace building among others.
The festival was inaugurated on Monday in the presence of several dignitaries, including Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Padma Shri awardee philanthropist and diamond exporter Savji Bhai Dholakia, SECMOL founder Sonam Wangchuk, Bollywood actor and philanthropist Vivek Oberoi among others. An orientation workshop on information, media and communication was also held on the occasion with Dr Bihung Brahma in the chair, and eminent journalist and information commissioner of Assam government, Dr Samudra Gupta Kashyap, and noted journalist from IIMC, New Delhi Pramod Kumar were graced as resource persons.
The Bodoland International Knowledge Festival provides a platform for discussing and sharing ideas on various themes, including sustainable agriculture, gender empowerment, and human rights, among others.