Indian couple come forward to claim child dubbed 'Mowgli Girl' is their daughter

'We abandoned all hope' says the man claiming to be the girl's father

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The Independent Online

An Indian couple have claimed that the girl found living in a forest is their daughter. 

Ramzan Ali Shah and his wife Nazma said that the girl, who they claim is a 10-year-old called Aliza, went missing from a market during a shopping trip last year.

Although they reported her missing to Mungra Badshahpur police, Mr Shah told The Mail Online that they received no assistance.

Officers had “even demanded money in exchange for help”, the 45-year-old said. His wife, 35, added that she could could not eat or sleep for weeks after their daughter went missing. 

Dubbed the "Mowgli girl" - a reference to the character in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book - the youngster was found in a forest in Northern India in February 

The case made headlines around the world after it was claimed that she had been living with monkeys in a nature reserve in Uttar Pradesh. She had been living at a district hospital ever since.

Unable to talk or walk, a medical examination confirmed the girl has mental and physical disabilities.

Mr Shah said that after putting up posters and searching for their daughter, they eventually came to believe she had either died or been taken by traffickers.

He has "no idea" how she managed to survive on her own, but is eager to get her back.

She is currently being treated at Nirvan, a charity and hospital which offers specialist care for disabled children. 

The founder of the hospital, Dr Suresh Singh Dhapola said that she had shown signs of improvement, and confirmed that someone claiming to be a family member had visited the girl, although she "did not respond to seeing him". 

Mr Shah said that he is currently trying to raise the funds for a DNA test to prove that the girl is his daughter, so she can be released into his family's care.  

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