A Day Spent with Sindhutai Sapkal – Mai: " The Mother of Orphans”
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -(-Mahatma Gandhi)
We at PIBM sternly believe so. This belief runs in the heart and core of our system. We always keep on seeking such opportunities where are students can learn and contribute for the greater good of the society we are living in. Luckily, we stumble upon one such opportunity when we heard about Sindhutai Sapkal. When we first heard about her we were nothing short of amused. The story of Sindhutai Sapkal, fondly known as “Mai” touched our soul. Finally we decided to pay her a visit at Sindhutai Sapkal Asharam in Pune named as “Sanmati Bal Niketan”, located at Manjari Farm near Hadapsar.
On arriving to Sanamti Bal Niketan we were greeted with a pleasing sight of numerous children playing around. This is one such rare sight to behold. To our surprise this Ashram in Pune shelters more than 300 orphan children. It’s a herculean task to handle even two children and here Sindhutai is feeding and sheltering hundreds of children. The curiosity to meet her got all the more intense. As soon as she came and we greet her, one of our students could not hold back his eagerness and asked her “What is your inspiration?” to which she gladly replies “You don’t seek inspiration outside but become one by yourself, be your own hero.” We were all ears when she started telling her journey, she was born in a humble household and was married off at a tender age of ten to a cowherd. She was later abandoned by her husband when she was bearing her third child who will born to be a daughter. She use to sing in exchange of meagre sum of money received as begging to feed herself and her daughter. That’s when it struck her to feed people and take care of those who are orphan.
This realization has now become her life mission. Poetic at heart she is titled as “The Mother of Orphans” and rightfully so. She has nurtured more than 1000 orphan children and nurturing many more. She has been honored with over 273 awards for her dedication and work. Running six shelter homes, she is equally enthusiastic and dedicated for her mission even today. A Marathi language movie on Sindhutai Sapakal was released in 2010, is a biopic inspired by her true story.
Sindhutai is an epitome of courage and a day spent with a brave soul like her profoundly inspired our students. We cannot stop thinking about her noble deeds. Our students are also pondering over their course of action on how to give back to the society because “It’s in the service that we are served” is the motto of PIBM.