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Maharashtra school textbook gives wrong interpretation about Jadav Payeng
Although their intention is healthy, due to lack of ground study, the concerned officials of the Maharashtra government have committed a mistake while interpreting about Forest Man of India, Jadav Payeng, popularly known as Molai Payeng.

A class X text book of the state education board has succinctly descried about the life and deeds of Molai Payeng, with an aim to create awareness among the young generation to work for saving the environment.

But the Forest Man does not belong to a nomadic tribe in Assam as described in the book. Rather, he belongs to the Misching tribe, which is the second largest tribe after the Bodos in the Northeastern state and has a rich tradition and culture. Earlie,r Misching people had primarily been residing near the rivers including the mighty Brahmaputra.

Molai Payeng has been contributing tremendously for conservation of nature and environment. He has grown a forest covering acres of land in Kokilamukh, Jorhat.  

Jitu Kalita, an environmental journalist first reported about Payeng and his works. Kalita gives a vivid description about life of Payeng in his book ‘Aranya Manab, Forest Man of India’. 

Payeng spent his childhood days near the mighty Brahmaputra. Later, he began living in a hut along with his loving wife. Due to the endeavours of scribe Kalita, Payeng once got an opportunity to address an environmental conference organised at the JNU in New Delhi. After which the premier institute of the country bestowed upon him the title of the Forest Man of India, as described by Kalita.

The faux pas done by the Maharashtra government’s education department has now angered many in Assam. Some organisations have raised the demand for immediate correction.

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