11 October 2014
Mizoram’s Wild Flower
Common children’s movie characters such as The Jungle Book’s Mowgli, or the character Tarzan may not seem very realistic, but in fact it is quite the opposite. These fictionalized characters millions of people have grown to love bear a striking resemblance to some real life humans. The concept of a human being raised in the wild secluded from the rest of the modern world may seem like the works of inspired Disney writers. But it is what creates such inspiration that continues to baffle and intrigue scientists around the globe. What happens to a child when it is abandoned to its own devices at an early age can be shocking, but nonetheless the stories behind such circumstances are not the work of fiction. But much rather real world happenings. The story of
Chhaidy, a girl native to India is one that sheds light on the clear importance of early life socialization. Chhaidy was born in Theiva, a small village in Mizoram. She was brought up into the
Maras, an Indian tribe of once revered headhunters. At age four the village of 150 homes was rocked by the disappearance of two of their children. The jungle surrounding their village had swallowed up Chhaidy and her male cousin. Five days later after near constant searching for the pair, only one returned to the village. Chhaidy was never able to be traced, it was not until 38 years later that she was finally rediscovered in the neighbouring state Myanmar. Chhaidy was
discovered living naked in a cemetery and was adopted by a family where she lived for four years. Eventually Chhaidy was returned to her biological parents. Now 42 years old she is faced with the daunting task of resocialization. Having lost all but two words of her native tongue
(Mara Dialect), she is forced to readapt to her once home. One day at the age of four Chhaidy and her cousin Beirakhu were playing in the jungle fields adjacent to their village. The duo eventually could not find their way home, due to the sever weather conditions of the jungle a massive rain storm forced the children to find shelter.
The locals lost hope for the survival of the children as the chances of these two young ones surviving the night in the harsh conditions of the jungle alone were difficult to generate hope from. But the hope was revived when they searching villagers discovered the boy next to a stream in a very disturbed state. No trace of Chhaidy was found. After the boy recovered, he told the tale of their survival. In which they stumbled upon a women living in the forest who took them in. Hopes were high until the boy brought them back to where he believed the house was.
The hope quickly faded away as house nor women was discovered. For the next 38 years,
Chhaidy lived in near complete isolation in the jungles of India. Rumors and tales of a dubbed
“Jungle Girl” spread like wild fire from camp to camp, but no hard evidence was ever given to support the claims of this naked wild child. It is rumored that Chhaidy did in fact have some human interaction when she would stumbled upon a village. Some would feed a cloth her before having this mysterious girl run back off into the wild. It is believed that during her life in the wild Chhaidy went as far as the border of China. When she was discovered, the jungle girl was wearing tattered clothing native to China. Which supports the claims of her minor human
interaction. After being found living naked in a cemetery, the child was adopted into a family where she lived for four years. Again tales of a “Jungle Girl” being found spread through the nearby communities, eventually reaching as far as her biological parents. Their hope was renewed when they heard of this girl. The parents travelled to the village to see if this girl was in fact their long lost child. The mother was skeptical at first, but after closer examination. She