Meet Sindhutai Sapkal: Mother of Orphans


There are many inspiring stories that we come across in this world, few of them touch our soul. One such story is that of Sindhutai Sapkal, hailed as “Mother of Orphans” who a social worker and activist, is responsible for providing shelter to 1400 orphans.

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It requires thinking twice before attempting something like this where you need to look after tiny tots who are penniless, but she has fought against all odds for their safety. Her noble attempt was globally recognized which made her win 500 awards.


Born on 14th November 1948 at Pimpri Meghe village in Wardha district of Maharashtra to Abhimanji Sathe who is a cowherd, she was considered as the unwanted child and so named Chindi referring to a torn cloth piece.


Despite her mother’s constant refusal of not educating her, her father managed her to send school till class 4th after which 10-year-old  Sindhutai was married to Shrihari Sapkal who was 20 years older to her and a cowherd from another village in Wardha.


At the age of 20, she had become a mother to three sons. There was a man in her village who collected dried cow dung from the villagers and sold it to the forest department without paying them back. She went against it which led the district collector to issue an order which irked the man.


To take his revenge, he planned a conspiracy with her husband of leaving her when she would cross 9 months of her pregnancy. As a result of this, a girl was born to her in a cowshed outside her house. She even cut the umbilical cord all by herself. After this, she was refused to be provided shelter at her mother’s house.

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Life after these incidents became painful for Sindhutai. She even thought of committing suicide which she did away for her daughter. She started begging on the railway platform to earn a living where she realized just like her daughter, there were so many children living without parents.


She immediately decided to adopt them and decided to become a mother to anyone whom she met was an orphan. With more children to feed, she started to beg more. With hr great communication skills, she influenced many people and gave speeches at many places which got her money to feed the orphans. To avoid any partiality between her daughter and other children, she gave away her daughter to Sheth Halwai in Pune for adoption.

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Her hard work gave her much success. She has a huge family of 207 son-in-laws, 36 daughter-in-laws and about 1000 grandchildren. Many of her adopted children are now engineers, doctors, lawyers and some of them including her daughter are running their own orphanages.

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In 2010, a biopic on her life titled “Mee Sindhutai Sapkal” was globally premiered on 54TH London Film Festival and bagged four National Film Awards including Special Jury and Best Screenplay Award. She is making new homes for children with the money she received from awards. This lady has taught us a great lesson of life. We salute this brave lady for determination to protect the orphans.


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