This child lost at 8700 miles (1,400 km) from home finds it 25 years later thanks to the help of Google Earth -
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This child lost at 8700 miles (1,400…
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This child lost at 8700 miles (1,400 km) from home finds it 25 years later thanks to the help of Google Earth


When "Reality exceeds imagination' is a very well-known expression that almost all of us have used at least once in our lifetime to describe cases and situations that in real life seem to recall contexts so incredible and imaginative that they seem to come from the pen of a writer.

Case in point is the incredible story of Saroo Brierley, whose road to finding and returning home to his original family took him around the world and inspired an autobiographical book and a recent film.

image: Facebook

The story takes place in India and the protagonist, now an adult and a successful hotel entrepreneur was only 5 years old at the time.

One night Saroo, and Guddu, one of his older brothers, went by train to the city where he worked, about 44 miles (70 km) from their home. Once they arrived, Saroo waited on a bench inside the station for his brother to return, but he fell asleep.

Waking up, he thought his brother was on a departing train so he quickly climbed on board, hoping to find him. After wandering among the train cars he stopped to rest, fell asleep again, and woke up only several hours later at Howrah station, on the outskirts of Calcutta.

The child was literally terrified, he did not know where he was, he did not speak the local dialect well, he did not know how to read or correctly pronounce the name of his city, and he did not even know his own last name!

image: Facebook

One can only imagine what it means for such a small child to be in an unknown place alone. At the beginning Saroo tried to stop the passers-by to ask for help without being able to make himself understood, then he tried getting on the trains but they were all suburban and always brought him back to the same station.

Finally, the child realized that he had to survive in some way and joined a group of beggar boys. Living on the street was hard and dangerous, so much so that one day he risked ending up in the hands of an unscrupulous person but he was saved by the police. It was then that he was first entrusted to a reception center for children where they tried to trace his family. 

The research was unsuccessful because of the lack of information, and in 1987, Saroo was adopted by an Australian family with whom he went to live in the island state of Tasmania, off the south coast of Australia.

Saroo never lost the desire and hope of finding his own biological family and once he grew up he decided to try to do it. He did not remember the exact name of his city of origin but calculated that he had traveled for about 17 hours covering approximately 8700 miles (1400 km).

image: Facebook

In 2011, thanks to the help of Google Earth, he identified the Burhanpur station and the city of Khandwa, recognizing several details buried in his childhood memories.

As a result, he finally found his mother and recognized her immediately, because her face had not changed over the years. While talking to his mother, Saroo, finally learned that Guddu had died, hit by a train the very night that Saroo was lost; they had found his body but not Saroo's, which is why his mother had still always hoped to see him again one day. 

Saroo Brierley's moving story presented in his autobiographical book "The Long Way Back Home" inspired the 2016 film "Lion - The Journey Home". These two works are highly recommended for reading and viewing, so that you too, can be moved and inspired by this true story where once again reality exceeds our imagination!

Tags: ExcitingStories

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