Chris and Jess only had a photograph and an approximate GPS location to track down that "1 girl in India's 1.25 billion!"

Tracing a girl with pink bracelet an Australian couple gave the perfect gift to a homeless Indian familyImage source: Chris Bray/Facebook
Flix Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 17:50

Australian entrepreneur and aviator Dick Smith and wife Pip Smith were on an India tour in November this year when his train had stopped near a railway under-bridge in Vadodara in Gujarat. 

It is then that Smith, who is also known for successfully completing the first solo helicopter flight around the world in 1983, spotted a homeless family, including a young girl wearing a pink bracelet, under the bridge.

Though Smith returned to Australia after that, he wanted to assist the family he had photographed in getting an accommodation and help secure the education of the girl. 

The photograph of the family taken by Smith

He asked an Australian photographer couple, Chris Bray and Jess Bray, if they'd like to go to India and find the girl. Chris and Jess agreed and left for India earlier this month to find "1 girl in India's 1.25 billion!"

In a recent Facebook post, Chris published a series of photographs chronicling their search for the girl with the pink bracelet, and how they found her. 

Recounting his experience, Chris wrote, "He (Smith) snapped some pics on his iPhone, noted down the GPS position, and asked if Jess and I would like to go to India, try and find this same girl & her family, help them into accommodation, secure the girl an education, buy them life's basics and open her a bank account for Dick to regularly deposit into - all in three days!" 

The Brays took help from some local contacts to track down the girl.

It took some time before they could find the girl. 

 

And they finally found 8-year-old Divya.

 

Chris wrote, "With all eyes on her, and these 2 weird foreigners and two men in suits here to see her, the young girl Divya thought she must have been in trouble, and was initially very shy and a little upset..." He then explained to her why he had come looking for her.

 

"Everyone warmed up then, and we met the whole family, she has two brothers, 7 and 2yrs old, both who were also in Dick's photo...", Chris explained in his post. 

Speaking to The Times of India, Chris had said, "Smith had just given me approximate location. Also, since it was a long distance photograph it was difficult to identify the faces. But fortunately we managed to locate the girl and her family with the help of local contacts in Vadodara."

 

What followed were days of shopping, searching for a house and opening a bank account for the girl.

Divya's family photographed in the bank. 

 

Since the family had no identity cards, the bank manager opened a 'Smile' account, an initiative for people with no IDs, in Divya's name.

 

A contract has been signed wherein Dick would transfer money to Divya's account for the next two years and continue for more years after a review.

A picture of Dick and Pip

 

They group then went to get passport-sized photographs of Divya and her mother.

 

 

 

Chris and Jess then took the family shopping. They bought clothes, bags, school supplies and even tools for her father. 

Chris wrote, "It was so wonderful taking the family shopping! They were remarkably responsible about it too, we really had to force the mum to allow us to buy clothes & shoes etc for her too, and to allow us buy more than one set of clothes etc. And when she saw the price we were spending, several times she was horrified and tried to put everything back and walk away saying it was all too much."

 

The contract also says that the money will be stopped if Divya was not getting regular education. The couple also visited Divya's school. 

 

And finally as the couple took leave, Divya posed brightly with the picture of Dick and Pip, the couple who were behind this astounding journey.

(All images source: Chris Bray/Facebook)

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