There's a new admission in the Government Primary School in Vengalampalli, in Peapully mandal of Andhra's Kurnool district. She's naughty but interested in all that goes on in her school. She also happens to be a langur.
For the past 15 days, a female grey langur, which is estimated to be around two years of age, has been going to the school like any other student and visiting whichever class it wants.
This has led to much excitement among the local people and the media. Speaking to TNM, the school's headmaster, S Abdul Lateef, confirmed that the latest "student" has been very sincere in attending school.
"It's been close to 15 days and the langur is coming to school and sharing the classroom with the children. Since it was not harming anyone, we didn't do anything to shoo it away," he said.
The langur spends time with the children and also plays with them. And the children like the animal so much that it has reduced the number of absentees in the school! This is why the staff does not mind the distraction much.
"It comes and sits with the students and tries to look at what they are doing. It's not an aggressive animal and hasn't harmed anyone. But it does climb on to the students' heads! It also roams about after classes and during leisure hours," Lateef added.
While most children are happy when school ends, the langur isn't.
"When the children leave the school, the langur becomes nervous and we can even see the disappointment on the animal's face. It dislikes leaving the school premises," Lateef said.
The langur now has a name - Lakshmi. Since Lakshmi is such a sensation on campus, with children gravitating towards the animal even during class hours, the staff have now decided to stop it from entering classrooms.
"We are now locking the doors soon after morning assembly and not letting Lakshmi get inside for the past five days as the students are not concentrating on what the teachers are teaching," a bemused Lateef said.
But Lakshmi's desire to be in the classroom is unwavering. The langur sits near the window grills and looks inside the classroom even if the doors are closed!
Like all children, Lakshmi has a set of friends. Sudha, a class 3 student, is Lakshmi's favourite, and the two of them hang out together often.
Unfortunately, the little human friends have been sharing junk food with Lakshmi, and the langur has fallen sick a few times. A local veterinary doctor, who treated the langur, told the students that Lakshmi needs a monkey-suitable healthy diet.
"Now we are giving her bananas or any other fruit rather than what we eat," Lateef said.
The school has no plans of forcibly stopping Lakshmi from entering the campus.
Several videos and photos of Lakshmi's adventures in the school have been doing the rounds, making everyone curious about this "studious" little monkey.