It was a courageous choice
In 1979, flood waters washed a large number of snakes ashore the sandbar at Majuli in Jorhat. As the water receded, all the snakes died due to heat and lack of forestry. Payeng chose to live on the sandbar, starting a life of isolation as he began work to create a new forest. Planting the seeds by hand, watering the plants in the morning and evening, and pruning them when required, he cultivated a huge natural reserve. After a few years, the sandbar was transformed into a bamboo thicket.