|Mother of more than 1000 orphans,Sindhutai Sapkal,. acelebrationofwomen.org|
the last several decades this misconception has changed considerably. The world, in the past saw the emergence of eminent the Prime Ministers like Golda Meir of Israel, India Gandhi of India, Sirimavo Bandara Nayake of Sri Lanka, Margaret Thatcher of the UK, et al. Now several women hold positions of responsibility and power both in companies and governments. Invariably these women have had a good family background and education to achieve their goal. If an illiterate and poor woman with no family background and, who has been abandoned by her own family and husband at a very young age, takes to social service as her passion and gives hope, guides and nurses hundreds of abandoned grief-stricken children, that is something extraordinary. This is the true but poignant story of one such courageous woman hailing from the state of Maharastra, India
|Sindhutai Sapkal with her orphans.,www.mysaptsindhu.org|
at Pimpri Meghe village in Wardha district Maharashtra, India in a very poor family. Her father Abhimanji Sathe was a cowhead by profession. For unknown reasons, she was considered as an unwanted child, however, her father made every effort to educate her, but she dropped out after 4th grade due to early marriage to a man who was elder to her by 20 years and poor family conditions. By the age of 20 she had 3 kids to care about. Being a gritty woman at a young age, she helped the village women from a local dada- strongman who was fleecing money from the sale of dried cow dung which was used as fuel in rural India. Because of government interference the strongman's earning was very much affected, and at his instigation her husband and her own family sent her out of family when she was in the advanced stage of her pregnancy. Surprisingly without any help she gave birth to a baby girl by herself.
|Sindhutai Sapkal, social activist with actor Amir Khan.www.uthtime.in|
Over a period of time she nurtured 1050 orphans. Now her family grown into a huge one with 207 sons-in-law, 36 daughters-in-law and over 1000 grandchildren. Surprisingly many of her adopted children are now well-educated; some are lawyers and doctors. She was instrumental in rehabilitating people from 84 villages in Maharastra when the government needed the villages for a project. She also paid serious attention to numerous abandoned adivasi (tribes) - children. Her selfless, dedicated life for the cause of children abandoned in the society drew the attention of many social organization and she won as many as 273 awards. Her award money was spent on the construction of orphanages. Sanmati Bal Niketan in Manjari locality at Hadapsar, Pune is a good example where few hundred children will reside,
'Forgiveness is a guiding principle' that is what this wonderful 80 year old thought when her husband came back to her in the sunset of of his life. With no iota of vengeance she accepted him - the man who was very mean and cruel to her decades ago.
People have to learn a lot of things from this amazing woman who, right from her early childhood, saw only the dark side of life. she took it upon herself the task of turning it into an inspiring life - giving shelter and hope to countless orphans. Lessons to be learned from Sou. Sindhutai Sapkal are:
01. Never lose your confidence and trust in you. Self-pity is very bad and is not conducive to contentment.
02. Society has been cruel to the weaker sections world over. If you have the will and courage you can fight it out.
03. Money is not every thing, but you need it to live in this society. You can do any job with out losing your identity and morality, even begging is acceptable, but not cheating or depending on others.
04. Never encourage negative feeling even in the most testing time, it will reduce your energy level and prevent you from moving forward.
05. Do not ever blame others and score a point to win the admiration of others.
06. Whatever you do, do it with dedication and, if possible, with a spirit of emulation.
07. Carrying out good deeds with out expecting any reward or accolade is a great thing.
08. Dedication and getting oneself involved in any thing that appeals to your soul and heart is important.
This illiterate Indian village woman has shown to the world that you can lead a happy and contended life, if you put your heart into something that gives you satisfaction and at the same time it benefits the people around you. 'Service to people is service to God'.
A marathi film 'Mee Sindhutai Sapkal' released in 2010, is true story of Sindhutai Sapkal. The film was selected for world premiere at the 54th London Film Festival.
Seldom such really humble and humane people appear on this Earth and serve as beckon to other hopeless people. That is the reason why they are a class apart in this mindless, mad world.
Awards received by Sindhutai Sapkal:
2012 Real Heroes Awards,given by CNN-IBN & Reliance Foundation present the 5th Edition of the prestigious Awards.
COEP Gaurav Purskar , given by College Of Engineering ,Pune (started from 2012).
2010 – Ahilyabai Holkar Award, given by the Government of Maharashtra to social workers in the field of woman and child welfare
2008 – Woman of the Year Award, given by daily Marathi newspaper Loksatta
Sahyadri Hirkani Award
http://epaper.timesofindia.com Mee Sindhutai… team has lived my emotions’
Laxmi Birajdar TNN