Realising the pain that children go through after losing their parents or being abandoned at a young age is no hidden secret. The pain is excruciating and eventually turns out to be arguably the toughest subject to talk about. Yet, it is a shame of sorts for our society that this realisation hasn’t really helped the cause of the children.
But then, there are also those who lead by example and show a way forward. It was probably with similar intentions that a Pune-based woman decided to come to the rescue of kids who were either left abandoned or lost their parents.
Today, Sindhutai Sapkal, who is known as the ‘mother of orphans’, has adopted more than 1,400 children. Children here say that Sapkal treats every child like her own.
The 68-year-old lady runs four facilities for orphans across the city -- two for girls and two for boys. Sapkal says that she has enough in her kitty to feed these kids and let them grow up to their dreams and start families of their own.
Ask her where she draws her inspiration from and you get her tale that would have been no less tragic had it not been for her steely resolve.
When Sapkal was just 20, and nine months pregnant, her husband had kicked her out of the house. Already a mother of three, Sapkal says that she gave birth to a baby girl inside a cowshed. She later went to her mother’s home with the new born but was shown the door there as well.
After this incident, Sapkal says, she travelled a lot in trains, singing and begging. She shared the food she received with those who had nothing to eat. Sapkal says that she still travels from village to village and adopts such kids who are abandoned.
A winner of over 750 awards including one from President Pranab Mukherjee, Sapkal has today earned everything which money can never buy.