Indian policeman's tattoo helps reunite Mumbai family

Indian police commando, Ganesh Raghunath Dhangade (R), shows a tattoo to his family in Thane district on the outskirts of Mumbai on October 16, 2013.
Image caption Mr Dhangade's mother (left) screamed for joy when she realised who he was

A policeman in the Indian city of Mumbai who became lost in a crowded railway station as a child has been reunited with his family after 24 years, thanks to a distinctive tattoo.

Ganesh Raghunath Dhangade was six when he was separated from his parents as he boarded a train.

After being raised in orphanages, Mr Dhangade joined the police force and began to search for his family.

A vital clue was the name of his mother Manda, tattooed on his right arm.

His search finally led him to the house of an old lady, who mentioned the tattoo and broke down in tears when he showed it to her.

"She explained about the tattoo on her son's arm. That was when I showed it to her," Mr Dhangade told the BBC's Kinjal Pandya in Mumbai.

"She was totally surprised - she couldn't believe it. She almost started screaming for joy. All the villagers and neighbours were screaming too."

Mr Dhangade has two younger brothers and two younger sisters. His father died after he became lost and his mother has been working as a domestic help.

"Now that I am earning, my mum can stop working and I can take care of the whole family," he said.

His mother said: "I am so happy. I lost my son and he has come back as a police constable."