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The Story Of Dina Sanichar, The Curious Case Of A Human Raised By Wolves

Dina Sanichar had an incredible life.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling relates the tale of Mowgli, a kid raised by wolves who never learned how to get along with other people. Because of how well-known the tale was, Disney and other businesses turned it into a film and television series. However, very few people know that the novel is inspired by a tragic real event.

What distinguishes us as humans? Our anatomy, our behavior, or our instinct? It may be argued that each of these elements contributes to our humanity, and that society develops us into logical beings.

What occurs, though, when all social cues and human interaction are eliminated in favor of an animal? Dina Sanichar, a young man raised by wolves and growing up completely cut off from humanity, experienced that.

Dina Saichar, human raised by wolves?

In the Indian forest of Bulandshahr in February 1867, hunters came saw wolves entering a cave.

They decided to go on the hunt for the wolves because they were constantly attacking the area. To get the vicious wolves out of the cave, they built a fire and then laid sticks there.

The wolves came out right away, and the hunters did their job. Unexpectedly, a final figure emerged from the smoke, coughing and growling, but it wasn’t a wolf; instead, it was a young child, perhaps 6 years old, crawling on all fours.

Hunters reported her as being highly restless, with pronounced fangs, and very hairy; he bit, snarled, and growled like an animal, although being definitely a human child.

The only way the men were able to catch the boy was after he ran out of energy to keep fighting because they were unable to even get near to her. Curiously, they claimed that as he was nearing the end of his life, he approached one of the dead wolves and nestled in his fur, seemingly sobbing his death.

They didn’t know what to do with the “wild child,” who may have been given the wrong name, so they took him to the Sikandra Mission Orphanage, where they christened him and gave him the name Dina “Sanichar,” which means “Saturday,” after the day they brought her there.

Struggling to Adjust 

Sanichar never entirely adapted to life in human society ince in the orphanage. He acted far less like a human and much more like an animal. He exclusively consumed raw meat, crawled about on all fours, and chewed on animal bones. Prior to eating, it was noted that he always gave his meal a sniff and threw it away if he didn’t like it.

Sanichar was nearly tough to communicate. First of all, he never picked up any form of human language and lived his entire existence growling like a wolf. Second, he was unable to interpret the body language or hand movements of others.

We humans who were nurtured in human societies have a natural understanding of some gestures and body language, but Sanichar, who was raised by wolves, did not.

Sanichar eventually gained some understanding of his missionaries despite never learning their language. Perhaps he never learnt to speak human language during the formative years of his boyhood, which prevented the formation of the essential mechanisms in his vocal system. Or maybe he couldn’t have formed human language on his own because the sounds are just too dissimilar.

But as time passed, Sanichar did begin to act more like a person. The missionaries claimed that he ultimately started smoking heavily, stood up straight, and dressed himself.

An Unfortunate Ending

At the age of 35, in the year 1895, Dina Sanichar died of tuberculosis. Given that smoking significantly raises the chance of developing tuberculosis, it’s entirely conceivable that his severe smoking habit played a role in the onset of this condition. So it’s extremely likely that Sanichar’s exposure to the realm of vices practiced by humans led directly to his demise.

While Sanichar ended up spending the majority of his life in the company of human beings rather than wolves, he never fully adjusted to human society and continued to act somewhat like an animal until the day he died.

Although he is probably the most famous “feral child” in history, he was not the only child known to have been raised by animals. In fact, there were said to be other feral children at the Sikandra Mission Orphanage at the same time as Saninchar.

Other wild children?

Missionaries say that Dina Sanichar was not the only wild child to live in the Sikandra Mission Orphanage. In addition to his “friend,” the superintendent, Erhardt Lewis, stated that he was joined by 2 boys and 1 girl who had also been raised by wolves.

It is also said that the orphanage took in so many wild children, that it became normal. In fact, several stories of children raised by wolves appeared throughout India during the 20th century.

Most of the cases, these children were cared for by the missionaries and they became the sole source of the facts, so the debate whether this was true or not continues.

Some historians believe that the missionaries made up these stories, to get media attention and thus obtain more resources. Others suggest that these children were not raised by animals and that they only had some intellectual or physical disability.

In that case, the stories could be told by people who jumped to conclusions when they visited the orphanage.