It took 22 years of relentless, consistent effort for 74-year-old Anand Dhawaj Negi from Himachal Pradesh in northern India to develop a 65 hectare (160 acre) forest in high altitude desert terrain. A lush forest of 30,000 robinia, juniper, willow, poplar and other coniferous trees, vegetable patches and fruit orchards is a testament to the efforts of the ex-bureaucrat, who recently passed away. After experiencing the apathy of those in charge of the government’s Desert Development Program, Negi decided to take things into his own hands. With the involvement of the local community, he was able to revive traditional farming and soil regeneration methods. Clover plants and the waste from goats on his farm helped fix nitrogen content and increase fertility of the soil. Today, the clover is much sought-after fodder for sheep, and the nursery that he first built supplies local farmers with healthy saplings. Apple orchards thrive nearby, and the forest has become a research hub for students and scientists. A lone man's hard work has left behind a thriving legacy.

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