How do you track down one little girl among India’s 1.25 billion in only three days?
That was the question facing Sydney photographers Chris and Jess Bray when they touched down in Sydney after a trip to the Amazon and got a call from Dick Smith.
The entrepreneur and philanthropist had spotted a family out a train window while travelling in India a few weeks earlier and had only a picture taken on his iPhone and some rough GPS coordinates.
But he had been struck by the family, in particular a little girl wearing nothing but a pink bracelet and he wanted to help them.
So he called the Brays and asked if they wanted to go to India.
“He really wanted to see if there was any way he could help the family into some accommodation, perhaps see if he could fund the girl’s education, etc. Well aware they might not be there anymore, that they might not need or want help, and the complexities of attempting to, he still wanted us to try,” Chris Bray wrote in a Facebook post that has now been shared over 50,000 times.
When they arrived in Vadodara in India’s west, the Bray’s immediately began searching for the girl and her family. They headed to the bridge where she was first spotted, and began asking around.
But no one wanted to talk, and their guide had misunderstood their need to find a particular family. So on the first night they came up empty handed.
On day two they went back alone but had little luck, unable to communicate properly.
“Getting desperate, we walked into a bank to try and meet the manager Ratan who was the friend of a friend of a father of a friend of mine. He introduced us to the wonderful Dr Chellani from the university who agreed to help. He drove all down to the railway bridge to try and find the family,” Bray wrote.
With help from the bank manager and Dilip Chellani, the Brays made quick work of the challenge.
Although reluctant at first, other people living under the bridge eventually pointed out the mother of the little girl, who was promptly summoned.