Spreading and shedding love and warmth to the deserted children, Padma Shri awardee Sindhutai Sapkal passed away on January 4th, 2022, at the age of 73 in Pune. She underwent surgery for hiatal hernia on 25th November, but her post operative recovery was slow which eventually led to complications. Known as ‘MAAI’, Sindhutai Sapkal was a warrior and a savior who sheltered more than one thousand abandoned and homeless children. She will be remembered for her incredible service to the humanity
She was born to a herdsman Abhimanyu Sathe on November 14th in the Pimpri Megha village of the then Central Province and Berar of British India. She was a girl and that’s why called as ‘chindi’. Her father supported her in studied. She unwillingly left studies due to family’s acute penury. Her marriage to Shrihari Sapkal, a man twenty years older was again unhappy.
After that, her husband left her when her daughter Mamata was born, and she delivered her in a cowshed. Hunger made her beg for the survival of her newborn daughter. She was just twenty years when she spent her nights in a cemetery to safeguard two lives and cooked chapatis on the pyre in the cemetery to feed herself.
Left by her own mother and her husband, Sindhutai Sapkal took to begging and then singing bhajans on station, outside temples and in the train. She sat with the beggars and shared her food with them.
She met many small left out children and gradually she discovered the mission of her life and started adopting them. Though without any roof over her head, Tai didn’t stop in her incredible expedition of sheltering the homeless. In order to balance the love Sindhutai gave away her biological child Mamata to Shrimant Dagdu Sheth Halwai trust in Pune.
Her unbending will and a heart which knew no limits poured love to everyone who came across her way. This commitment opened the gates of success, and she could start her first Bal ashram named ‘Mamata Balsadan’.
This Ashram is now home to nearly 1500 orphaned children. Students from Asharam placed in good organizations after study, and they have their own families. An abode of love and kindness this ashram has lightened many lives.
After that, Sindhutai came to know about the Tiger preservation project in Chikaldara which stands in the Amravati region of Maharashtra. The villagers of 84 villages
The villagers of 84 villages faced difficulty in shifting with their cows. Knowing the situation Sindhutai Sapkal raised her voice on the behalf of the villagers and helped them in getting proper relocation. She was heard at Ministerial level and orders were passed soon. Tai’s battle for the Adivasis turned the face of her life. She adopted Adivasi children and never looked back.
In addition, Sindhutai was awarded with many prestigious awards like Nari Shakti Puraskar, The National Award for Iconic Mother, Honorary Doctorate by the Dr. D.Y.Patil College of Engineering Pune and many more. Government of India conferred Padma Shri in January 2021 to her. Sindhutai Sapkal laid the foundation of love for the homeless and neglected.
In addition, a Marathi movie done on her life and her life stories finds place in textbooks too. Therefore, many organisations started to support the helpless. Her biological daughter Mamata takes care of them.
Sindhutai Sapkal dumped the miseries of her life in the fire of her determined spirit. She proved everyone wrong who tried to dig her into the depth of sadness. Above all, she was an embodiment of courage, will power, commitment and greatness. Let the world know that you can fight your battles with inner resilience and calmness.
In conclusion, Tai will keep motivating her children and followers by her life’s learnings. Everyone will remember her for magnanimous efforts and powerful movements which bring the innocent kids under one roof.
Quote by Sindhu Tai
‘’MERA DIL BHI EK SAMANDAR THA, PYAR KA PAANI THA USME, MAGAR AAJ EK TOOFAN UTH AAYA HAI, LEKIN SAGAR KO PATA NAHI KINARA KIDHAR HAI…….’’
Our respect and regards to the real heroic personality of India, “Sindhu Tai”. REST IN PEACE “MAAI”….
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