She lost her daughter a long ago, now she’s “Maa” to over 800 Abandoned Girls

Manisha Mandir, is not just a shelter but a home for homeless or abandoned baby girls in Lucknow for over 30 years’ now. A cradle in Manisha Mandir has seen many baby girls left in it only to be taken care of by another mother who promised herself to love them and help them throughout her life.

Image source: Manisha Mandir

Dr. Sarojini Agarwal was born and raised in Jodhpur and holding a PhD in Hindi literature, is that mother, who is 80 years old and is “Maa” to every girl or women at Manisha Mandir, she lives in Lucknow where she raises her adopted daughters in ashram. Sarojini had struck over a tragedy three decades ago, which gave her motivation for this destitute home.

She had lost her 8- years old daughter Manisha, in a road accident in 1978, which was painful for Dr. Agarwal with the fact that she was driving the 2- wheeler vehicle on which little girl Manisha was riding pillion. She always asked this question to herself “why my child?”, which shook her life and has converted her loss into a ray of hope for 800 other Manisha.

Manisha Mandir has 3 big rooms in Dr. Agarwal’s own home, which she established in 1985. She adopted a deaf and mute child first, whose mother, a divorcee, had died during her delivery. Many girls are rescued from brothels and from streets by Dr. Agarwal. She was a great writer too and had penned an autobiography “Baat Swayam Bolegi”, from which she earned royalty and poured it all in Manisha Mandir for the girls.

Till the time girls turn 18 and start earnings, they stay with Dr. Agarwal in Manisha Mandir where she has a computer lab, a library, basketball and badminton courts and a television room too.

She also started hanging a crib, which she named “Sanjeevan Palna” at the gate of Manisha Mandir where people leave abandoned or found newborn girls, instead of leaving them on streets. She makes sure that every girl gets the best possible education, for which they have built a large hall on the top floor of the building and lease it out for functions to meet the ever- growing expenses of the home.

Kudos, for the confidence of Dr. Sarojini Agarwal at this age, she has proven her dedication unstoppable and a change for people around. She is one of the true inspirations we have. May India give birth to more such strong daughters or mothers.


Shipra Singh
Shipra is a professional writer with She has completed her MBA in International Business and Finance but her passion for writing brought her here . Follow on twitter @Shisinghdh