Monkeys on the Antaragange Betta
are being fed daily
by a group of
people in Kolar
KOLAR: Narayan Reddy, who runs an engineering workshop in Kolar, serves food to monkeys on the Antaragange Betta, near here, every day without fail.
Mr. Narayan Reddy says he cultivated this habit moved by the plight of monkeys in the perennially drought-hit region. Mr. Narayan Reddy says that his father, M. Gundappa, started this practice 38 years ago.
Antaragange Betta, on the Shatashringa chain of hills, is known as Dakshina Kasi (Kasi of the South). It has given shelter to many long-tailed monkeys.
Due to the frequent drought, depletion of the forest area and urbanisation, monkeys are divested of natural food. “My father initiated this practice of feeding monkeys as a gesture of kindness to animals,” says Mr. Narayan Reddy.
A cook is exclusively appointed to prepare food and feed the animals dwelling in the area. The cook feeds the monkeys promptly on all days of the week except Saturday.
On Saturdays, Mr. Narayan Reddy and others inspired by his work, including Shankar, a tailor, Seenappa, a BEML employee, and Venkatesh of Manjunath Chemicals go to the Antaragange Betta with the food prepared at their homes and serve it to the monkeys.
Natural odds notwithstanding the monkeys are fed without fail. Shankar says that the innocent animals should not be made to wait for food.
According to one estimate, there are 250 monkeys on Antaragange Betta, living in four groups. One lives near the steps of the bottom of hill and two groups can be seen on the way up the hills. The fourth lives near the temple on the hill.
This service to the monkeys has been widely appreciated by the people who visit the hills. “It is a feast for our eyes watching the long-tailed animals have food served by their ‘friends’. Children enjoy it more,” said Nirmala, a tourist.
Invoking God’s grace could be a reason for feeding the monkeys. However, such Samaritan acts are rare in modern times.