Sindhutai Sapkal Indian social reformer
Sindhutai Sapkal is an Indian social reformer. Who is known as the “mother of orphans”. She is especially involved in raising orphaning orphan children in India. In the year 2016, Sindhutai was awarded a doctorate in literature by the DY Patil Institute of Technology and Research for social work. Sindhutai Sapkal has been honoured with over 272 awards for her dedication and work.
Life has never been easier for an Indian woman. Whether she is rich or poor, she has been facing the wrath of autocratic society in history. In the context of social hypocrisy, the loopholes in the society are the result of the mentality of some people who are making the lives of women miserable in every sphere. But, the question is who is going to bring them out of their current gross conditions. Every person is their own savior, Sindhutai from Maharashtra is an example of this.
Sindhutai Birth and Education
Social reformer Sindhutai was born on 14 November 1948 in Wardha district of Maharashtra in a cattle grazing family. Due to birth in a poor family, they had to wear clothes of chindi (Marathi word for a torn piece of cloth). Sindhutai’s father’s name was Abhiman ji. Her father was keen to educate Sindhutai. Sindhutai’s father used to send her to school on the pretext of grazing cattle. Being financially weak, Abhiman ji could not even afford a slate. Therefore, she used the leaf of the ‘bhadi tree’ as a slate. Poverty, family responsibilities and child marriage forced Sindhutai to give up education. She was only lying till class four.
Sindhutai’s family and early life
When Sindhutai was only ten years old, she was married to Srihari Sapkal, a 30-year-old man. Her life was full of challenges. Young Sindhutai was optimistic about life even after being a victim of child marriage clutches. Rather, her enthusiasm for helping the sensitive and in retaliation for abuse increased. After settling in her husband’s house, she stood up against the exploitation of women by landlords and forest officials.
Marriage and Beginning
When Sindhutai was 10 years old, she was married to 30-year-old Srihari Sapka. She was the mother of 3 children when she was 20 years old. Sindhutai had complained to the district officer about the head of the village who did not pay the villagers their money. To avenge this insult, Mukhiya(Village Head) instigated Srihari (Sindhutai’s husband) Sindhutai to take her out of the house when she was pregnant for 9 months. The same night she gave birth to a daughter in Tabela (cows and buffaloes shelter).
When she went to her mother’s house, her mother refused to let her stay (her father died, otherwise she would have supported her daughter). Sindhutai started living with her daughter at the railway station. She used to beg for a fill of stomach and would stay in the crematorium to keep herself and daughter safe at night. In this struggle of her, she realized that there are so many orphan children in the country who need a mother. From then on, she decided that whatever orphan would come to her, she would become their mother. She adopted her own daughter in the ‘Shri Dagadusheth Halwai, Pune, Maharashtra’ trust so that she could become the mother of all the orphans.
Social work and Sindhutai’s family
Sindhutai has devoted her entire life to orphans. Hence she is called “Mai” (Mother). They have adopted 1050 orphans. She has 208 sons-in-law and 34 daughters-in-law in her family today. There are more than 1000 grandchildren. Her own daughter is a lawyer and many of the adopted children today are doctors, engineers, lawyers and many of them also run their own orphanages.
Sindhutai has received a total of 243 national and international awards, including the “Ahilya bai Hokkar Award” for social workers working for women and children by the Maharashtra State Government. All this money they use for orphanages. Their orphanages Pune, Wardha, Located in Saswad (Maharashtra). In 2010, “Mee Sindhutai Sapka”, a Marathi pictorial based on the life of Sindhutai, was selected for the 54th London Chitrapat Festival.
When Sindhutai’s husband turned 80, he came to live with them. Sindhutai accepted her husband as a son, saying that she is now only a mother. Today she says with great pride that she (her husband) is their eldest son. Sindhutai also writes poetry. And her poems have the full essence of life.
Sindhutai Sapkal Organization
- Sanmati Bal Niketan, Bhelhekar Vasti, Hadapsar Pune
- Mamta Bal Sadan, Kumbharwalan, Saswad
- Mai Ashram Chikhaldara, Amravati
- Abhiman Bal Bhawan, Wardha
- Gangadharbaba chhatralaya Goa
- Saptasindhu Women’s Adhar Balasangopan and Educational Institution Pune
Mera Bharat Mahan – I am proud to be an Indian