Monkey girl mystery is unraveling

The “girl found living with monkeys” in India story got huge press attention last week. The child was around 11 years old, emaciated, unclothed and was said to be in the company of monkeys who tried to chase away rescuers.

Regular DN reader, Joy, sent me the story and was skeptical of it right off the mark, wondering why she couldn’t speak but yet understands what is said to her. Clues pointed towards abandonment rather than “raised by monkeys. She noted, “would love to hear the real story when it comes out.” And, it’s now starting to leak out.

The police officer suggested the idea that she was raised by monkeys. She was not found in the forest with monkeys but on a roadside. In all appearances, it looks as though the mentally and physically disabled child was abandoned relatively recently.

“In India, people do not prefer a female child and she is mentally not sound,” DK Singh said. “So all the more [evidence] she was left there.”

“The truth of the matter is her family didn’t want to look after her,” said Ranjana Kumari a leading activist in the movement to promote the welfare of young girls in a society where female foeticide persists, and has severely distorted birth rates, especially in rural areas.

She said the Indian state offered little help for poor families with disabled children – “and when it is a girl, it becomes double the issue”.

The child, previously called “girl Mowgli” is now named Van Durga, is responding well to care and recovering.

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