Man reunites with Family after 25 years using Google Earth

Kolkata:  Sometimes Internet can do such miracles which no one can envisage. With the help of Google Earth,  a 31 year old Indian man was able to locate his family after a  gap of 25 years.  Saroo Brierley then, a 5 year old Boy  who used to  sweep in trains lost contacts with his family while he was asleep. He had expected his older brother to wake him up but instead he slept for 14 hours and found himself in an unknown city when he awoke.

Lost and with no way of finding his way back, he spent time on the streets before being taken in by an orphanage.

Mr Brierley was later adopted and moved out of India to Tasmania in Australia.

Nearly quarter of a century afterwards, Mr Brierley set about searching for his family, but he did not know the name of his hometown.

However, using his memories he used Google Earth to search through dozens of images in the hope of finding an area that he remembered.

“It was just like being Superman. You are able to go over and take a photo mentally and ask: ‘Does this match?’,” Mr Brierley said.

“And when you say, ‘No’, you keep on going and going and going.”

To narrow down the search, he calculated the distance the train would have travelled using the speed of Indian trains and the time he was on the train – 14 hours. He eventually came up with a distance of 1,200km.

He drew a circle around a satellite map of Calcutta and eventually he found where his family had lived in a place called Khandwa.

“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.”

Mr Brierley travelled back to India. He found his family had moved on but neighbours remembered his mother and they arranged for him to see her.

He was overwhelmed to find her. Speaking about the reunion he said: “The last time I saw her she was 34 years old and a pretty lady, I had forgotten that age would get the better of her.

“But the facial structure was still there and I recognised her and I said, ‘Yes, you are my mother.’ “She grabbed my hand and took me to her house. She could not say anything to me. I think she was as numb as I was.

“She had a bit of trouble grasping that her son, after 25 years, had just reappeared like a ghost.” Film makers have taken an interest in Mr Brierley’s story and are considering making his story into a film.

This article originally appeared on the Telegraph UK on April 17, 2012 and can be viewed here