Saroo Brierley

The Real-Life Subject of “Lion”

Saroo Brierley

Talk: The Real-Life Subject of “Lion”

Lion brings to life the story of Saroo Brierley, who was separated from his family when he was only five years old in rural India. Saroo was eventually adopted and raised in Australia. As a young man, he used Google Earth satellite imagery to find his home and was reunited with his birth family. The film is based on Saroo’s book about his experience, A Long Way Home, and stars Dev Patel in the lead role of Saroo. To complement the release of “Lion” on Google Play, explore Saroo’s journey, digital mapping and our understanding of home.

Saroo Brierley

Saroo Brierley (born 1981) is an Indian-born Australian businessman who, at age 5, was separated from his biological mother. He was adopted by an Australian couple, and 25 years later reunited with his biological mother. His story generated significant international media attention, especially in Australia and India.


In LION, five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train travelling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands of miles away, survives living on the streets, and lands in an orphanage that is not exactly a safe haven.

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