In 1986, Saroo, a five year old, lives with his elder brother Guddu, his mother and his younger sister in Khandwa, India. Guddu and Saroo steal coal from freight trains to trade for milk and food. One day Saroo follows his brother to a job and they arrive at a nearby train station, where Saroo decides to stay back and take a nap. Guddu tries to wake him up, but Saroo is too tired. When Guddu does not return, Saroo searches for him and boards a train presuming Guddu is aboard. He falls asleep again in one of the compartments, and wakes up to find the train in motion. After several days it arrives in faraway Calcutta, where he doesn’t understand the local Bengali language. He stands at a ticket counter and tries to obtain a ticket home, but the attendant does not recognise the name of his village, which Saroo says is „Ginestlay”. He spends the night in the station with some street children, but is then forced to run when they are snatched by some adults.