Indian man reunites with long-lost mother via Google Earth

An Indian boy who lost his mother in 1986 has found her 25 years later from his new home in Tasmania - using satellite images.

Saroo Brierle, who was separated from his family at the age of 5, tracked down the name of his village and found it on Google Earth to reunite with his mother. Google Earth has proven to be a very helpful software for many, as it is used by Governments, Rescue teams in different countries and sometimes to just reach your destination. In 1986, Saroo Brierley (then 5) was accompanying his older brother on a train trip, he fell asleep and woke up after 14 hours and found himself in Calcutta without his brother. At first, he had to live on the streets and begged for food. He was then taken to an orphanage and was adopted by an Australian couple.

Saroo Brierley told the BBC Magazine “I accepted that I was lost and that I could not find my way back home, so I thought it was great that I was going to Australia,”. But as he grew older, the desire to know where he came from also grew. With vivid memories of — but not the name — of the town he was born, he started searching the Internet for clues. Brierley multiplied the 14 hours he knew he had been on the train by the average speed of trains in India to determine how far he traveled that night. He then drew a circle around Calcutta based on that radius and eventually determined that Khandwa was the town he was looking for.

“When I found it, I zoomed down and bang, it just came up,” he said. “I navigated it all the way from the waterfall where I used to play.”

He would eventually make his way to Khandwa and locate a familiar house. His family had moved but he remembered their names. With the help of passers-by, Brierley was taken to the house where his mother lived. At first he did not recognize his mother, who was stunned into silence by his reappearance. She took him by the hand into her house. “She had a bit of trouble grasping that her son, after 25 years, had just reappeared like a ghost.”

His older brother was not as fortunate; his body was found on the railroad tracks a few months after Brierley disappeared.


More details on BBC

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