The money spinning monkey business


The railways in Lucknow has hired two brothers, belonging to the Kalandar community, to shoo away monkeys by mimicking the voice of langur.

The Kalandar community is known for its expertise in training bears and monkeys.

The brothers — Aslam, 29, and Rashid, 27, — mimic the sounds made by langurs to scare off monkeys at the Charbagh railway station.

The brothers have been employed on a contract basis for six months.

According to railway officials, there are over 100 monkeys which roam around Charbagh railway station and snatch food from vendors and passengers and even damage CCTVs and electricity wires.

According to Jagtosh Shukla, senior divisional commercial manager, Lucknow division, “Hiring a langur would have amounted to cruelty to animals, hence professionals have been hired to get rid of simian trouble from railway station.”

The two brothers remain at the platforms from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and mimic the sound of langur when they see the monkeys.

The brothers say that they have been taught how to mimic the langurs and have studied monkey behaviour in detail.

In 2019, Kismat, a 42-year-old monkey handler, possessing similar skills, had been hired by the railways to take care of the simian menace.