Congenitally speech-and-hearing impaired, Sanjay Nagnath Yenkur was 11 when he left his home in anger.
Upset with his elder brother, Yenkur set out for Gujarat via Hyderabad. He reached the Vadodra train station where an NGO spotted him and sent him to the care of child-protection authorities in neighbouring Narmada.
Here, he was admitted to a school and given a new name, Akash.
But destiny unfolded again for him when he was brought to an Aadhaar facility for enrolment. As Yenkur, now 14, sat down for fingerprinting and iris scan, the program's biometric database showed he already had a 12-digit national identity, said Chetan Parmar, Narmada's child-protection official.
The Aadhaar system tracked down his real name and address in a remote village of Maharashtra's Latur district, Parmar explained.
Authorities in Gujarat were quick to reach out to his family in his Hanchanal village. After three years, the teen was reunited with his loved ones, thanks to Aadhaar.