LUCKNOW: Lucknow’s monkey menace has an unusual saviour in the form of a former madari (monkey handler). 42-year-old Kismat, used to go around the city performing tricks with his langur to earn a living. However, in 2013 he had to free his langur into the wild following government norms.
To make ends meet, he starting mimicking his langur and mastered the skill of reproducing its sound which he now uses to scare away menacing monkeys around the city.
At present, Kismat is associated with the Northern Railway, Northern Railway’s Diesel Loco Shed besides offering services to schools, government offices, and posh residential localities.
Initially, hired in residential areas to produce the sound which monkeys are afraid of, Kismat started getting famous as a ‘monkey handler’ and was approached by railway authorities of Charbagh in the city.
Charbagh, the main junction of northern railway which witnesses the daily footfall of over one lakh passengers, was in the grip of a monkey menace.
They struck at will, snatching food items, goods, biting and slapping people. Kismat who was hired by NR authorities in 2015, claims, “If this exercise is continued for couple of months in a particular locality, monkeys leave that place forever.”
From Charbagh Railway station alone, Kismat earns R 20,000 per month and from Northern Railway’s Diesel Loco Shed, he draws a salary of Rs 17,000. “Kismat’s voice does the wonders. Currently, he seems to be the most potential solution to the monkey problem at this station,” says Moosi Raza Kazmi, senior Northern Railway official.