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Sindhutai Sapkal is confirmed dead at the age of 73.

If you treat everyone like Sindhutai Sapkal did, you will also be remembered fondly.
'The world will miss Sindhutai💔
What did Sindhutai Sapkal do?
Sindhutai was best known as a Indian social worker.
How did Sindhutai Sapkal die?
Sindhutai Sapkal's death was likely due to heart attack.
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Sindhutai Sapkal
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Dr.Sindhutai Sapkal
Born14 November 1948 (1948-11-14)
Died4 January 2022(2022-01-04) (aged 73)
Other namesMaai(lit. mother)
Spouse(s)Shrihari Sapkal
Children4 (biological)
1500+ Adopted
  • Abhimanji Sathe (father)
Dr.Sindhutai Sapkal (14 November 1948 – 4 January 2022) was an Indian social worker and social activist known particularly for her work in raising orphaned children in India. She was conferred the Padma Shri in 2021 in Social Work category. She died due to heart attack on January 4, 2022 in Pune, Maharashtra.
1 Early life and education
2 Early work with Adivasis
3 Orphanages
3.1 Organisations
4 Awards
5 Film
6 References
Early life and education
Sindhutai Sapkal was born on 14 November 1948 in a cattle grazing family in Maharashtra’s Wardha district. Being an unwanted child, she was referred to as Chindhi (Marathi for "torn piece of cloth"). Abject poverty, family responsibilities and an early marriage forced her to quit formal education after she successfully passed the 4th standard. At the age of twelve, Sapkal was married to a man twenty years her senior in Wardha District. In her new home, she fought against the exploitation of local women, who collected cow dung, by the forests department and landlords. She bore three sons by the time she turned twenty. At the young age of twenty, when nine-months pregnant, Sapkal was beaten and left to die by her husband. She gave birth to a baby girl in a semi-conscious state in a cow shelter outside their house on the night of 14 October 1973. Sapkal took to begging on the streets and railway platforms to survive. Because she feared being picked up by men at night, she often spent the night at cemeteries. Such was her condition that people called her a ghost since she was seen at night in the cemeteries. माई
Early work with Adivasis
Sapkal later found herself in Chikhaldara, where she started begging on railway platforms for food. In the process, she realized that there were many children abandoned by their parents and she adopted them as her own. She then begged more vigorously to feed them. She decided to become a mother to everyone who came across to her as an orphan. She later donated her biological child to the trust Shrimant Dagdu Sheth Halwai, Pune, to eliminate the feeling of partiality between her biological child and the adopted children.
Details of Sapkal's struggle were provided in the weekly Optimist Citizen on May 18, 2016:
In this constant tussle to survive, she found herself in Chikaldara, situated in the Amravati district of Maharashtra. Here, due to a tiger preservation project, 84 tribal villages were evacuated. Amidst the confusion, a project officer impounded 132 cows of Adivasi villagers and one of the cows died. Sapkal decided to fight for proper rehabilitation of the helpless tribal villagers. Her efforts were acknowledged by the Minister of Forests and he made appropriate arrangements for alternative relocation.
Sapkal fought for the rehabilitation of eighty-four villages. In the course of her agitation, she met Chhedilal Gupta, the then Minister of Forests. He agreed that the villagers should not be displaced before the government had made appropriate arrangements at alternative sites. When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi arrived to inaugurate the tiger project, Sapkal showed her photographs of an Adivasi who had lost his eyes to a wild bear. He is quoted as saying, "I told her that the forest department paid compensation if a cow or a hen was killed by a wild animal, so why not a human being? She immediately ordered compensation."
After being informed of the plight of orphaned and abandoned Adivasi children, Sapkal took care of the children in return for meager amounts of food. Shortly thereafter, it become the mission of her life.
Sapkal devoted herself to orphans. As a result, she is fondly called "Mai", which means "mother". She has nurtured over 1,500+ orphaned children. She has a grand family of 382 sons-in-law, 49 daughters-in-law, and over a thousand grandchildren. Many of the children whom she adopted are well-educated lawyers and doctors. Some of her adopted children - including her biological daughter - are running their own independent orphanages. One of her children is doing a PhD on her life. She has been honored with more than 900 National and International awards for her dedication and work. She used award money to buy land to make a home for orphaned children. In person, Sapkal recites motivational lines for society and youth.
Mother Global Foundation Pune
Sanmati Bal Niketan, Bhelhekar Vasti, Hadapsar, Pune
Mamata Bal Sadan, Kumbharvalan, Saswad
Savitribai Phule Mulinche Vasatigruh Amravati -
Abhiman Bal Bhavan, Wardha
Gangadharbaba Chhatralaya, Guha shirdi
Saptsindhu' Mahila Adhar, Balsangopan Aani Shikshan Sanstha, Pune
Shree Manshanti Chatralaya, Shirur
vanvasi gopal krishna bahuuddeshiya mandal Amaravati
President Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Nari Shakti Puraskar to Sapkal in 2017
2021 - Padma Shri in Social work category
2017 – Nari Shakti Puraskar from the President Of India.
2016 – Honorary doctorate by the Dr. D.Y. Patil College of Engineering, Pune.
2016 – Social Worker of the Year award from Wockhardt Foundation
2014 – Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize
2014 – BASAVA BHUSANA PURASKAR-2014, awarded from Basava Seva Sangh Pune.
2013 – Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice.
2013 – The National Award for Iconic Mother ---- (first recipient)
2012 – Real Heroes Awards, given by CNN-IBN and Reliance Foundation.
2012 – COEP Gaurav Puraskar, given by College of Engineering, Pune.
2010 – Ahilyabai Holkar Award, given by the Government of Maharashtra to social workers in the field of women and child welfare
2008 – Women of the Year Award, given by daily Marathi newspaper Loksatta
1996 – Dattak Mata Purskar, given by Non Profit Organization Sunita Kalaniketan Trust
1992 – Leading Social Contributor Award.
Sahyadri Hirkani Award (Marathi: सह्याद्रीची हिरकणी पुरस्कार)
Rajai Award (Marathi: राजाई पुरस्कार)
Shivlila Mahila Gaurav Award (Marathi: शिवलीला महिला गौरव पुरस्कार)
The 2010 Marathi film Mee Sindhutai Sapkal by Anant Mahadevan is a biopic inspired by the true story of Sindhutai Sapkal. The film was selected for world premiere at the 54th London Film Festival.
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