Renowned environmentalist Jadav Payeng and journalist Jitu Kalita were acknowledged for their exemplary work on conservation of nature by the Taiwan government. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen personally met the duo. She praised their work as environment awareness creators.
Kalita, who is now working for the Assamese newspaper Niyomiya Barta couldn’t hide his excitement about the meeting. In a facebook post, he wrote, ‘I feel proud to be an INDIAN representing India as an environment journalist in Taiwan….specifically an unforgettable moment when I was honoured by Taiwan President Mrs. TSAI ING-WEN at Tiwan’s President Hall dt 07 sep 2016. She appreciated me for my book in Chinese which I have offered to Mrs. President, Taiwan as a gift.’
The folklore of Jadav Payeng and Jitu Kalita
Jadav Payeng is a well-known name today, thanks to Mulai Kathoni, a forest he has literally made with his own hand. Today, his forest, known as Mulai Kathoni, is spread over 1,350 acres, and has its own ecosystem. Elephants, rhinos and tigers inhabit the woods.
The remarkable story of Payeng was first unearthed by Jitu Kalita, who was then writing a popular column on nature for the Assamese magazine Prantik. He was once stalking vultures when he found himself on the far side of Aruna sapori. As he entered the forest, Payeng practically attacked him and chased him off. A curious Kalita entered the forest again, this time to discover the biggest story of his life. Since then, the bonds between them have become stronger. It is only fitting that they have received this recognition together.