Rudyard Kipling’s novel The Jungle Book tells the story of Mowgli: a boy who was abandoned by his parents and raised by wolves. While he was taught the ways of the animal kingdom, he never learned how to interact with another human being.
Kipling’s famous tale, later adapted into several family films by Walt Disney, ends on an uplifting message about self-discovery and harmony between civilization and nature. However, few people know that it was based on tragic true events.
Dina Sanichar was raised by wolves and spent the first few years of his life thinking he was one. When hunters discovered him lying in a cave, they took him to a nearby orphanage.
There, missionaries tried to teach him all the things he never learned, starting with the basics: walking and talking. However, the gulf between human behavior and animal instinct proved too wide for Sanichar to overcome.
The year was 1867. The setting: Bulandshahr district, India. One night, a band of hunters made their way through the jungle when they stumbled upon a clearing. Beyond it lay the entrance of a cave that, they believed, was being guarded by a lone wolf.