Man Missing for 40 Years Is Reunited With Family, Thanks to YouTube Video

Playing YouTube Video Helps Reunite a Homeless Man with His Family After 40 Years

A man who disappeared 40 years ago has been returned to his family with the help of a YouTube video and the police.

Khomdram Gambhir Singh was 26 when he left his home in the remote Indian state of Manipur. He did not say goodbye and he never contacted any member of his family.

Four decades later, his wizened, bearded face showed up on a YouTube video that features him singing a Bollywood song on the streets of Mumbai, some 2,000 miles from where he was born.

He gave his name and hometown and with that declaration, his family learned he was alive after a viewer passed along the video and it ultimately reached the 66-year-old man's younger brother.

The brother, in turn, wrote to the Mumbai Police Department and officers were able to track down Singh, who was homeless and living on the streets in a suburb of the city.

"He was making money as a beggar singing old Hindi songs," said street photographer Firoz Shakir, who shot the video last year and uploaded it to YouTube. Singh told him he had been a construction worker, but suffered work-related injuries and lapsed into heavy drinking, Shakir told Agence France-Presse.

On Wednesday, police from Singh's home state flew to Mumbai, where they picked him up and took him back to his family.

"This story is a ray of hope," said Shakir. "If a video can change a man's life there can be no bigger miracle than this."

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