Saroo Brierley

The inspiring life of Saroo became part of our culture when it was made into the movie Lion in 2016. It's a journey through one persons' ability to overcome adversity.

Spoiler alert. If you haven't seen the movie, and plan to, don't read any futher (until you've watched the movie)!

The story follows young Saroo who is thrust into the cruel world at a very young age without a mother, and without the ability to read or write. He survives a series of misfortunate events and numerous close calls with tragedy. Ultimately, 25 years later, he finds his mother and is freed from years of guilt that had prevented him from living a fuller life (or keeping a relationship). It's a story anyone involved in adoption would cheer for and once again shows the brutal life in India (similar to Slumdog Millionaire).

"Anything could have happened to me, the possibilities make my stomach churn," says Saroo. "I could have ended up in child-slavery, some gang, been sexually abused," it's something that still scares him. Especially since he was so close to these things becoming a reality – he survived on the streets of Calcutta, alone for months.

In 1987, 14 million children under 10 in India died from illness or starvation.

Saroo's obsession with the finding his family ultimately led to the discovery (via Google Earth and then Facebook) to find his long lost home (Burhanpur) which he had been mispronouncing as Berampur (which is why nobody could help him find home).