Sindhutai Sapkal: Maharashtra’s Pride and 1 mother of Orphanages

When the name Maai was uttered in Maharashtra, the only face that the entire state could see was Sindhutai Sapkal's.

Sindhutai Sapkal is a Modern Savitribai Phule

The lady who faced countless encounters of deadly days and nights, and crossed the many paths in life in difficulties. Sindhu, the lady who taught others to live with pride and do hard work.

Today, Sindhu became an icon of inspiration to millions of Indian women. She has given many lectures not only in Indian colleges but also travelled overseas to get her kids two times foods. Therefore, her name is next to thousands of orphanages and got them married to their favourite life partners, before making all of them well-educated and independent. Hence, Sindhutai Sapkal (14 Nov 1948 – 4 Jan 2022) is called a modern Savitribai.

Daughter of a Cow herder-Sindhutai Sapkal

Her life had ocean of difficulties, however, from such events only suicides results. But, it was Sindhu who gathered her countless courage to live her life further, probably to become the mother of thousands and more orphan children. It is true that some heavenly power was with her, perhaps the power of orphanage.

Sapkal always wanted to be an independent woman and hence Sindhu, born on 14 November 1948 to a cow herder (Gavali caste – the one who do business of cow and its by-products). It was exactly one year after India got independence. The cow herders usually travel village to village and live in outskirts along with cows while doing business along the way.

During those days, the majority of the women considered no longer for education, the prime work of the women was to handle household chores and work on the farm with their husbands. However, if someone interested in education, was forced to quit due to financial burden of the family.

Thus, the same thing had happened to Sindhutai Sapkal. She was forced to quit her basic and formal education when she did her schooling until 4th class. Furthermore, it is true that the pressure of intelligence couldn't hold any other pressure.

As soon as she stopped going to school, Maai got married to Shrihari Sapkal, he was 32 and Sindhu was 12 years old. Shrihari was 20 years older than Sindhu, leaving her with no options but to accept her fate. The adoption of newly married life involves leaving aspirations and dreams behind. However, Sindhutai Sapkal continues to make new beginnings with her husband.

Sometimes, upon going against the family, badly beaten up by her life partner, it becomes an alternate or sporadically a habit of weekly practice. All women seek happiness and blessings when they get married. Therefore, in terms of Sindhutai Sapkal, the name “happy” was like a guest appearance at her door. She was almost crushed to death, the marriage was not to last longer. The reason was simple. She was one of the beautiful ladies in her village in adulthood.

The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Nari Shakti Puruskar for the year 2017 to Dr. Sindhutai Sapkal, Pune, Maharashtra, at a function, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on March 08, 2018.
The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Nari Shakti Puruskar for the year 2017 to Dr. Sindhutai Sapkal, Pune, Maharashtra, at a function, on the occasion of the International Women's Day, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on March 08, 2018.

The couple had their first kid with some ups and downs. But, when Maai conceived the second child, a dark smoke of misunderstanding came in between them which extended to getting them separated. Furthermore, the story of her life became so difficult to live that she had no food and home to live.

Stragic life of Sindhutai Sapkal

Sindhu was thrown out of the house, blaming her, carrying a child of someone else (at the age of today’s undergraduate girl). All that happened during her labour time. She lived in a cowshed, cut the umbilical cord by pelting it with a sharp stone, and gave birth to a baby girl. Thus, she turned her pain into the pleasure of motherhood, which converted her misery into a joyful smile, as well as giving a fresh meaning to life.

She proved an adventurous mother, carrying the roles of a doctor and patient both successfully. Furthermore, she accommodated herself around the same village, keeping a hope of acceptance, but betrayed. She lived on a burial place (Smashan Bhumi - where Hindus do rituals of the corpses). She cooked the Bhakari (foods) on a burning dead body, fed her soul and lived there for some time.

Sindhutai considered her daughter Mamta (second child) came to with full of strength and power for her. Inspired by her real series of breathtaking events, Sindhu had decided to live for Mamta and many other kids (orphanages) as a mother. If she did not dare to give birth to Mamta, she could have killed her baby. Eventually, she became mother of thousands of kids.

Poem on the life of Sindhutai Sapkal

Never underestimate the power of a mother,
One, who was a daughter, made her husband a kid in her ashram,
She was the one-stand woman like gadar.

She was born a common village girl,
Sindhu lived alone days in the jungle,
Being a pregnant and craving for hunger.

During pregnancy, Maai did not approach a phone or call a doctor,
Sindhu was the patient, doctor, and the real life actor.

For her adventures and braveness, everyone hats off.

She decided to be a parent of homeless and become motherly wall,
Dedicate the entire rest of her life for orphanages, that's all

Maai, her work and memories will never die,
She will return in another form,
This time with more rigor, strength to fly high.

— Lokesh Umak