Lovingly known as the Mother of Orphans, Sindhutai Sapkal is an Indian social worker and social activist renowned particularly for her work for raising orphan children.
Born on 14 November 1948 at Pimpri Meghe village in Wardha district, Maharashtra –abject poverty, family responsibilities and early marriage forced her to quit formal education after she passed grade 4.
After her marriage at the tender age of 10, her first successful campaign against injustice was at the age of 20 when she led a successful agitation against a local strongman who was fleecing the villagers on collection of dried cow dung used as fuel and selling it to the forest department, without paying a sum to the villagers.
Her work did not bode well for those who thought of women as mere objects, and trouble followed soon after. She was then asked to leave her marital household, but that did not stop this noble soul from continuing her work.
Mai, as she is affectionately called, has devoted her entire life to the care of orphans. Having been thrown out of her home, she was forced to beg for food at railway platforms, and it was here that she realised that many children were abandoned. It moved her and she adopted them as her own.
Since dedicating her entire life to the care of orphans, she became a mother to anyone and everyone who came across her as an orphan.
As of today Mai who has nurtured over 1050 orphaned children has a grand family, many of whom have turned out to be well educated professionals across the public spectrum.
Though an octogenarian, Mai still comes across as an unlimited source of energy and very powerful inspiration, embodying the true meaning of an individual not affected despite the hard knocks she has faced in her early stages of life. A strong lady, a loving soul, and a tender heart is what makes Sindhutai Sakpal a well-loved human being.