India is the most populated nation in the world, and a significant part of this population is children. But it is shocking to witness the fact that chunks of these children are normally orphaned and are compelled to live in poverty and face constant refusal from the community.
The story of Sindhutai Sapkal is an indication of similar depression. Sindhutai was born on 14th November 1948 in the Wardha, Maharashtra.
She was called ‘Chindi’, which means a torn cloth, by the community. Her father was intent to educate her, but her mother rejected this. Hence was able to complete her education only till Class 4th and at the age of 10 years, she was married off to a man of 30 years.
Her cruel husband beat her up and threw her out of the house when she was 20 years and nine months pregnant. She gave birth to a little girl in a cow shelter outside their home. The same day and walked a few Kilometers in that condition to her mother’s place, who also refused to give shelter?
She said, “I cut the umbilical cord with a sharp-edged stone lying nearby.” The incident strongly moved her, and she decided to suicide, but gave up that thought and began begging at railway platforms for food to look after her daughter.
At that time, she recognized that there are many orphans and children rejected by their parents. Having faced the problems herself, she could feel their pain, and she decided to adopt them.
Sindhutai Sapkal has got around 270 awards from numerous national and international organizations. A Marathi film “Mee Sindhutai Sapkal” was also published as her biopic in 2010. She has established numerous organizations across Maharashtra which provides education and house to thousands of orphans.
Still today, at the age of 67, Sindhutai Sapkal struggles relentlessly to shape the future of these children because she believes that a deprived child means a deprived nation.