M3 Features

Kolkata connection of ‘Google Boy’

February 5, 2014

It was in Kolkata that his life had taken a dramatic turn, setting him up on a journey to Australia where he found a home and a family 25 years ago. Businessman and author Saroo Brierley started his journey in Kolkata, where he had landed alone and lost as a five-year-old, before being sent off to a home for destitute children and eventually to Australia where he was adopted by a couple.

A story stranger than fiction

Brierley shot to fame after he located his family in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, two and a half decades after he had inadvertently got into a train and reached Kolkata. After spending months at Howrah station fending for himself, he was eventually sent to Hobart for adoption. Using Google Maps and following a painstaking search, Brierley not only traced his hometown, but found his family and visited them a year ago. It earned him the sobriquet 'Google Boy'. Brierley went on to write a book on his experience which is being made into a film.

“It has opened up the gates to adoption because so long, Australia has been really closed to adoption from other countries, but more so from India. I am not sure why that is so…I am not aware of the political part but now its opening its gates and there are many people out there who would like to help other children,” he told Team M3.tv on the sidelines of the third Kolkata Literary Meet.

Plans for the future

He hopes that people who intend to connect with their roots in other countries can utilise his strategy that he details in his memoir.

“I hope reading about my journey would empower them…educate them and perhaps makes them realise that here’s a guy that got lost and found his way home using these means and tools and I hope that my strategy would help them, regardless of whether you are of Indian origin or have any other ethnic background.”

“Some people wouldn’t know where to start and this story would give them a starting point,” he believed.

Hailing the world wide web and tools like Google Earth and Facebook, he said: “The information is out there on the internet at the tip of your finger and you just have to go forward and use them.”

Brierley admits that his adoptive family was initially apprehensive and feared he would not return after finding his biological mother.

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Comments (1)
Sampurna Reply
February 05, 2014
I have read his whole story before... a touching tale indeed... I also saw a video made on him. Hats off...
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