Statesman News Service
GANGTOK, Oct. 24. — People travelling to Gangtok or Kalimpong can see hundreds of monkeys sitting on the roadside of National Highway 31 A, from Sevoke (Jalpaiguri district) to Rangpoo (Sikkim) for food items which they get from few good hearted travellers. But three employees of a bus, named ‘Apsara’, which ply from Gangtok to Silliguri everyday have been feeding these monkeys since the last six years.
The monkeys have well noticed the colour of the bus and the identity of the three persons, besides knowing the schedule of the bus. As soon as the bus reaches the place, the hungry monkeys jump on the bus. The driver of the bus, Mr Vesh Kumar, conductor Mr Shyam Bhaiji and another staff Mr Kumar Adhikari have taken the resolution of feeding these monkeys till their service period as they think that people pray to God and organise huge religious programmes to make God happy but the best way to make God happy is by helping others, especially the animals.
When this correspondent once rode in this bus from Gangtok to Siliguri he found out monkeys waiting eagerly for the bus ‘Apsara.’ The bus started from Gangtok at 1.30 pm towards Siliguri carrying the tourists. When the bus reached Rangpoo the border of Sikkim and Bengal and halted for refreshment for 15 minutes. Mr Adhikari went at the bakery and bought 10 big packets of fresh breads and kept under one of the seats of the bus. Everyone inside the bus was surprised and could not understand the purpose of buying the breads and keeping it under the seat. Later when the bus crossed Teesta Bridge Mr Adhikari started opening the packets and threw them towards the monkeys who were waiting for the bus to come. The monkeys were found waiting at different places from Teesta to Sevoke near Corronation Bridge.
Mr Adhikari gave the breads to all the monkeys who were waiting till Sevoke. It was surprised to see that when the bus reached Kalijhora, a monkey whose both hands were cut due to an accident was waiting for the bus. The bus stopped and Mr Adhikari went near the monkey to feed him by his own hands after which the monkey went inside the jungle. The driver of the bus Mr Kumar said: “We started feeding these monkeys with one packet of bread but now we need at least ten packets to distribute. We thought that as there are no food items left in the jungle due to deforestation. With our little contribution we could help this monkeys.” He also said the money to bye the breads is equally contributed by the three staffs of the bus.
Statesman News Service