This uplifting news comes to us from Manipur, India.
In the age when people are clearing lands in order to give way to constructions, roadways etc we also have people like Moirangthem Loiya hailing from Uripok Khaidem Leikai in Imphal West who worked hard for 18 years in order to make the land greener.
Loiya as a child used to climb up a mountain peak in order to enjoy the lush green forests all around but he was stunned to see patches of barren land spread out all over when he climbed the peek in 2000. He had visited home after years as he was away for educational purposes. The sight left him shattered and he immediately thought of doing something to get the greenery back.
He set out on an adventure to search for a spot to begin and he set his eyes upon a 300 acre barren land with no sight of a single tree or even bushes. This land in the Maru Langol hill range is not recognisable today because of the lush green forest that is a result of Loiya’s 18 years of hard work.
He quit his job, set up his home amidst the land and began planting trees including oak, jackfruit, magnolia etc thus naming the forest Punshilock meaning ‘spring of life’. Loiya gives full credit to a natural spring flowing through the area because it definitely helped in speeding up the growth of trees and plants.
Home to more than 250 plants as well as animal species, the forest has given life to many such species that could have been otherwise permanently lost from the area. The forest has several species of snakes, deers, mongoose, birds and what not.
“I consider myself a painter. Other artists use canvas, brush and colour to paint, but I used the face of the hills as my canvas and planted trees and flowers to paint. It’s taken a lifetime to draw this. It’s living art” said Loiya.
The locals made it tough for Loiya in the beginning because he was scared they would cut trees and hunt the wild animals but soon he formed the Wildlife and Habitat protection society by involving his friends. He also took initiative to educate the locals about the importance of forests.
Today, Loiya has government support and the beautiful forest also attracts thousands of tourists all throughout the year.
Image Source: Return To Now