Jagat Singh Chaudhary, an ex-serviceman who retired from the Border Security Force (BSF), has done laudable work by single-handedly creating a beautifully planned and manicured jungle. He has created a lush green forest on a 1.5 hectare wasteland in his village Kot Malla in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand.
His passion for the jungle is unending. When Chaudhary retired in 1980, he spent his time collecting different species of trees and shrubs and planted these in his village. Gradually, the plantation grew and spread making him the proud owner of a mixed forest, which is beautifully planned, landscaped and manicured. Such is the passion for the jungle that people of surrounding villages address him as 'Junglee ji'.
A grave incident in his village triggered his determination to create a forest in the village. He was deeply hurt when a woman of his village was grievously injured while trekking in the forest to collect fodder. Such incidents are common for women in hill villages and hence he decided to create a forest in his village so that women don’ have to venture out far to fetch fodder or firewood,
The jungle draws dignitaries, researchers, and curious visitors as well as media persons who admire Chaudhary for his outstanding work. Chaudhary said that in the past few years, a water body has started forming in the forest due to the vegetation that helped in trapping water in the ground, thereby raising the water table.