Saroo woke up in a panic, unsure how long he was on the train for and where he was headed.
The train eventually came to a stop 1,000 miles away in Calcutta. There, they speak Begali but Saroo spoke Hindi.
He didn’t understand anyone and was terrified of where he was. The five-year-old was almost kidnapped for child trafficking and then was nearly drowned by the same man.
For three weeks, Saroo ate scraps and drank from taps.
Finally, an older boy befriended him and took him to the authorities.
Saroo was sent to an orphanage/juvenile home. He was bullied and life was not better than it was on the streets. One day an Australian couple wanted to adopt Saroo.
Given up all hope of finding his family, Saroo agreed to the adoption and headed to Tasmania with his new parents, who loved and doted on him.
But Saroo never stopped thinking about his birth mother and decided to start looking for her online several years ago.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember most details about her or where he grew up. In a country of over 1.4 billion people, finding one is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Finally, Saroo used Google Earth and pinpointed to a specific area. Saroo recognized a couple things he saw in the Google Earth search and reached out to a Facebook group from one of the towns he felt was familiar.
He made his way to India and was reunited with his birth mother.
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Saroo went on to write Lion: A Long Way Home which was made into the film Lion, which received many award nominations.