The Monkey Man

Acchan the Monkey-man

Railway bosses in northern India have come up with an effective way to protect their passengers from mischievous monkeys - a monkey-man. Dressed as a monkey, Acchan Miyan - also known as Gudde - capers about at the Charbag railyway station in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, to scare away the troublesome creatures.

The 42-year-old says he has been driven to the unusual profession by poverty, but is convinced that his efforts are helping passengers. He said: "There were many monkeys here. But all of them have run away. I can't see even a single monkey here. There were thousands of monkeys here.

"People warned me that I will be eaten away by the simians. But I scared them all away. If I stay here for one week at the station I will scare away all the monkeys." Acchan, who previously earned a living by dressing up as an entertainer, now commands a salary of 300 to 400 rupees a day - between £3.50 and £4. Passengers said they appreciated the job he was doing. One, Santosh Kumar, said: "There used to be many monkeys here, who would indulge in all kinds of mischief. "

At times they would tear seat covers of trains and on others they would snatch away bananas from passengers. Poor passengers will certainly be protected from monkey menace by Acchans's act."

A Muslim by religion, Acchan has even started worshiping Indian mythical monkey god Hanuman and says he has no reservations in offering prayers to a Hindu deity.


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