Jadav Payeng honoured with
USTM Social Work Excellence Award
Mile, Ri Bhoi, Tuesday, 20 March 2018: As the world
celebrates World Social Work Day on 20 March this year,
the University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya today
honoured environmental activist Padma Shri Jadav Payeng
with “USTM Social Work Excellence Award 2018”. Organised
by the Department of Social Work of USTM, the award was
handed over by veteran journalist, writer and activist
Padma Shri Patricia Mukhim.
After receiving the Award, Jadav Payeng, also known as
the “Forest Man of India” addressed a packed NK
Choudhury Auditorium at USTM and said, “The forest I
have built in Kokilabari at Jorhat is above religion and
politics. I find my God in nature. I do not want
anything from the country, but I know that I have to
work for my country. In fact the whole world is my home.
I like to go anywhere in the globe if I have to plant
trees.” Expressing his happiness to address students in
an educational institution, Payeng said that Environment
Science should be included from Lower Primary schools
and each student should be taught to plant a tree when
he or she takes admission for the first time in school.
Every five years, that student should plant another tree
and look after it, he added.
Patricia Mukhim, the Chief Guest of the award function,
said that social work requires a special commitment.
Work starts at the family and community level. One of
the key learning of social work is how to b4ring people
above the poverty line. Their task is to advocate for
those who are voiceless, she said. She emphasized on the
significance of the World Social Work Day and said that
it is a day in the year that social workers worldwide
stand together to celebrate the achievements of the
profession and take the theme message into their
communities, workplaces and to their governments to
raise awareness of the social work contributions and
need for further action. Payeng’s mission began in 1979
when he was just 14 with planting of 50 bamboo trees in
order to prevent death of snakes as many snakes died
that year due to heat and the absence of trees. Over the
years, the once barren sandbar has turned into a dense
forest home to many wild animals.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor of
USTM said that the university is determined to take care
of the environment and greenery. “We are extremely happy
to have Jadav Payeng, the forest man of India among us
who has shown the world how determination, dedication
and persistent hard work of a single person can convert
a barren land into a forest that now houses Bengal
tigers, Indian rhinoceros, and over 100 deer and
Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by Dr.
Prateeti Barman, Head, Department of Social Work. The
programme ended with the vote of thanks delivered by Dr.
R.K. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, USTM. The World Social
Work Day is celebrated each year on the third Tuesday of
March. This year’s celebration highlights on ‘Promoting
Community and Environmental Sustainability’, which
relates to the third pillar of the Global Agenda for
Social Work and Social Development. Every year, USTM
celebrates it by giving the Social Work Excellence Award
to individuals who have immensely contributed to the