Children of the Wild

Abandoned And Alone These Children Have Learned Things On Their Own

By: Kylie Hapuarachchi

A photo recreation of Shamdeo, a young boy who was found in a jungle in India at the age of four. Julia Fullerton-Batten

We have heard the stories of Mowgli and Tarzan. The idea that young boys were raised by wildlife due to the fact that they had nothing else to look for. The story behind these characters seem very far fetched to ever exist in real life. 

However, the truth of the matter is that there have been kids of the wild, each with their own unique story of how they ended up there and how they lived. 

These children grew up in the wild to become feral due to the fact that they had no social interaction with the human population. 

One case is of Oxana Malaya. She was three years old when her life completely changed. Her alcoholic parents had neglected and left her out in the cold which led her to find comfort with dogs in a kennel.

That instinct to cuddle with the dogs led her to survive because they had kept her warm. Her parents seemingly forgot about the responsibility they had of her which led to her essentially being raised by these dogs.

She would run on all fours, eat scraps, pant, barked and had become a part of the pack. Her instincts changed and the things she wanted changed. She became much more like a dog than a human. 

Eventually, once the right people were notified of this, she was rehabilitated to be able to walk upright and even speak once again due to the fact that she had been learning the language for three years prior to her living on her own.

She continued to do certain things such as hide things that would be handed to her much like a dog would do with a bone. Malaya’s neglect became the reason for her to change completely.

Another case that is bewildering is the one of Shamdeo in India. He was also known as Ramu and had spent a majority of his life in the jungles of India. 

When he was found in 1976, he had been on all fours accompanied by other wolf cubs. His features were very much on the wild side with his teeth having sharpened, his hair matted and his fingernails becoming very long and hooked.

It is this idea that there were more wolf boys than Ramu. There was another named Bhaloo who had another similar story. He too was similar to the wild story in which he was raised on his own with no human interaction. 

The stories of these children are fascinating because it shows how people can neglect them and how in an instinct to survive they will do all they can to survive. 

A story close to home would be that of Genie, who had been abused and neglected for thirteen years. She could not speak properly, walk upright or use the bathroom. 

She too faced the difficulty of converging back into society and truthfully never fully could. Her inability to communicate with people made it especially hard to have her have a subnormal life.

Child abuse and neglect do get looked upon, however, not all over the world. India has one of the largest cases of child abuse and the systems that protect those children have little to no power. 

In countries like Mexico, being a social worker looking for victims is also like looking for a pin in a haystack because of the institutions that protect the abusers due to their personal status.

The cases of Malaya, Ramu, Bahloo, and Genie allow us to really understand the depths of abuse and the idea of how bad neglecting a child can get. It allows us to understand how the neglect of children will make them venture out and find new ways of survival even if that means to act very much like an animal. 

Categories: Politics

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