London: An Indian man, who was separated from his family while begging in Madhya Pradesh when he was just five, has finally been reunited with them 25 years later after locating his village on Google Earth.
Saroo Brierley, dubbed as ‘slumdog millionaire’, was adopted by an Australian couple and taken to Tasmania where he became a successful businessman.
He lost his Indian family while begging at Khandwa train station with his older brother, as he accidentally boarded a train going in the wrong direction.
Brierley revealed how he spent a decade scouring Google looking for signs of his hometown, The Daily Mail reports.
“Using Google Earth, I spent so many hours zooming in and out looking for something I recognized,” he told the Tasmania Mercury.
From a vague memory of Khandwa train station and surrounding area, he was eventually able to find the area on Google Earth.
He then joined a Facebook group for his home town Ganesh Talai and managed to piece together the details by emailing members of the group.
“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,” the paper quoted Brierley, as saying.
“To this day, I still can''t believe I managed to find my family, considering India''s population size and how young I was when I lost them,” he added.
Saroo, whose original Indian name is Sharu, said he has no plans to return permanently to his hometown, but hopes to visit his family frequently.
First Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 12:38