How did it all start? Three decades ago, the tribal teenager named Molai had found a large number of dead snakes, killed by the harsh heat after a spate had washed them onto the bare Majuli Island sandbar. (Incidentally, the Brahmaputra’s Majuli happens to be the largest river island in the world.) The event had a strong emoptional impact on the boy. Realizing that the snakes had does becaise there was no shade in which to hide from the severe sunchine, Molai planted two dozen bamboo seedlings on the sandbar, to provide shade. Then, in 1979, the social forestry office of the state’s Golaghat District launched a tree plantation effort on 200 hectares at Aruna Chapori. [In India, the term “social forestry” refers to the afforestation of treeless land or the restocking of depleted forests by engaging the common classes of the population in such work. – EcoRama.] Molai immediately signed up for this project, which went on for five years, and worked tirelessly on it for its entire duration. When the project was finished and other workers left, he decided to stay and keep working, although the effort was officially over. He kept planting more trees, striving to transform the entire area into a dense, pristine tropical woodland.