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Meet Lakshmi, a 'student' langur which listens to lessons at a Kurnool school

Author: Tadi Vidura
Publication: The Hindu
Date: August 3, 2019
URL:      https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/meet-lakshmi-kurnool-schools-student-langur/article28805587.ece

It came from nowhere, has joined the students, befriended them and turned out to be an ‘obedient student’

The government primary school in Vengalampalli in Peapully mandal has been getting an unusual visitor for the past 12 days. It is not the District Education Officer or the School Inspector on a surprise visit.

While the classes were in full swing, a female grey langur was found attending classes, along with the students.

While the students and the faculty were uncertain in the beginning, after a few days the primate became an integral part of the primary school.

“The students have also given it a name, Lakshmi,” said S. Abdul Lateef, headmaster of the school.

No monkeying around

Lakshmi, strangely doesn’t indulge in its natural behaviour — of monkeying around. Instead, its a well-behaved, disciplined and obedient student and follows the school rules. “In the morning Lakshmi attends the assembly prayers, then she attends the classes, has lunch with the students, and plays with them after classes,” said the headmaster.

The faculty, however, noticed that students were slightly distracted by Lakshmi’s presence in the classroom. So, they started closing the door while the classes were ongoing. But Lakshmi still peeks through the windows and listens attentively to all the teachers. Narrating Lakshmi’s tale Mr. Lateef said she had become slightly sick on Thursday. “The doctor said junk food might have given her an upset stomach,” he said.

However, Lakshmi bounced back by Friday, after the school called in a veterinarian to treat it.

Now Lakshmi is on a strict diet of fruits. The staff purchase a dozen bananas every other day to feed it.

Some universities in the developed world have opted for petting zoos as stress relievers for their burdened students. Lakshmi has also been playing a similar role in the Vengalampalli school. The headmaster claims that the school has been registering almost 100% attendance every day since Lakshmi’s arrival.

Would allowing pets into school make students more productive? Mr. Lateef believes as long as the pet does not interfere with the education of the students, it could prove productive.
 
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