Sindhutai Sapkal is not just a name but a goddess for orphans. She has devoted all her life to the orphans. She has adopted and nurtured over 1,400 orphans so far that is why she is called “Mother of Orphans”. Any amount of praise is less for her. She has become an icon for all of us. She is Mother Teresa of today’s era. Millions of people get inspired by her.
The 71-year-old lady started her journey after being abandoned by her husband. Her abusive husband had no affection towards her. He threw her out of the house when she was nine-months pregnant. She gave birth to a baby girl in a cow shelter the same day and walked a few kilometers in that condition to her mother’s place, who also refused to give shelter to her. So, she had gone through the worst time. If someone else were in her shoes, he would have lost courage and committed suicide.
Hailing from Wardha, Maharashtra. She was passionate about the study and wanted to complete her graduation. But destiny had written something else in her life. Her early marriage put an end to her desire to study. “I was told there are only two processions in a woman’s life; once when she gets married and the other when she dies. Imagine my state of mind when they took me in a procession to my husband’s home in Navargaon forest in Wardha,” she says.
Now, she had no choice but to commit suicide. Even a thought came to her mind to commit suicide, but gave up that thought and started begging at railway platforms for the sake of her daughter. When she got into that world where poor people have to beg to survive she realized that there are many orphans and children abandoned by their parents. Having faced troubles and miseries, she could feel their pain, then she decided to adopt them. Now, she had more children to look after so she started begging earnestly more in order to feed them. She began to adopt every child who came across as an orphan and, over a period of time, she emerged as the “Mother of Orphans”
It is believed that she has adopted more than 1,400 orphans so far. She encouraged them for education and helped them to settle down in life and got them married. Some of them are now doctors, engineers, lawyers. “When I was out myself on the streets begging for food and fighting for survival each day, I realized that there are so many orphans who have nobody to go to. I decided to take care of them and raise them as my own,” Sindhutai says.
She never asks for help from anyone. Even today she delivers speeches to meet her daily expenses. After several years, her husband realized his mistake and apologized for his despicable deeds. Since she has a big heart, she forgave him and accepted him as her child. She then introduced her 80-year-old husband as the eldest child. She says that she had no one with her, she got disappointment from everywhere as she was abandoned by all. She knows very well the pain of being alone and unwanted. She then decided that she would not let anyone go through the same. When she looks at her children, she feels very happy that some of her children are leading a comfortable life. “One of my children made a documentary on my life,” she says.
“By God’s grace, I had good communication skills. I could go and talk to people and influence them. Hunger made me speak and this became my source of income. I give many speeches at various places and this gets me some money which I use to take care of my children,” she says.
“I approached the Maharashtra government several times for help but I never received it. I used to beg earlier to fulfill the needs of my children and I will continue to do so,” she says.
Till date, she has got over 500 awards for her dedication and compassion. The amount she received with awards, she used it to construct home for her children. Today, her daughter also runs an orphanage. A Marathi film called “Mee Sindhutai Sapkal” was made on her which won a national award. She has become a source of inspiration for millions of people. She really deserves huge respect.
Read another inspiring story, Janet Yegneswaran