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‘Lost Child’ Reunited With Family 25 Years Later Thanks to Google Earth and Facebook

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Saroo Brierley Saroo Brierley Photo: The Mercury/Same Rosewarne

It sounds like the storyline from a movie. A five-year-old boy gets separated from his brother at a train station in India. He boards the wrong train by himself and falls asleep. He awakens on the east side of India. The events that follow include him trying to scrounge his way back home, nearly drowning and almost being sold into slavery.

What would happen next in this movie? You’ve probably seen enough plot lines to guess. He didn’t make it home at this time, but he does go on to become a successful businessman and, of course, found his family in the end.

While this may sound like a Hollywood or Bollywood-directed event, the story covered by Tasmania‘s The Mercury is Saroo Brierley’s reality.

Child Lost for 25 Years With Help of Google Earth, Facebook

Saroo Brierley reunited with his mother. (Photo via The Mercury)

The Mercury has more on Brierley’s story that eventually led him to find his family 25 years later:

He eventually was declared a lost child and placed in an orphanage before being adopted by Tasmanian parents. Mr Brierley now helps run their family industrial supplies business, Brierley Hose and Handling.

Mr. Brierley said he never forgot where he came from and, three weeks ago, he returned to India find his family.

“I kept in my head the images of the town I grew up in, the streets I used to wander and the faces of my family, I treasured those memories,” he said.

 For 10 years, Brierley said he tried to find his family on the Internet but one tool in particular became especially helpful: Google Earth. Brierley said he used the service to zoom in on areas in the country where he was originally from to find anything he could recognize. Eventually, it was the original train station that helped him identify his hometown. The Mercury reports at this point Brierley joined a Facebook group for the town of Ganesh Talai. With more details from questioning members of that group, he visited the town and searched until he was reunited with his family.

But the heartfelt drama of this Brierley‘s story doesn’t stop there. The Mercury reports the older brother who originally accompanied Brierley to the train station on the day he was lost was found dead on the tracks.

The Daily Mail reports Brierley, who was adopted by Tasmanian parents while still young, doesn’t plan to move back to India but will maintain strong contact with his biological family there. The Daily Mail also states that he plans to make a movie of his story.


Klimas, Liz. "‘Lost Child’ Reunited With Family 25 Years Later Thanks to Google Earth and Facebook" The Blaze. 15 March 2012. Web. 

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