Who is Sindhutai Sapkal Daughter?

Sindhutai Sapkal who was born on 14 November 1948 and died on 4 January 2022, was in her lifetime an Indian social worker and social activist known particularly for her work in raising orphaned children in India. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2021 in Social Work category.

Mini Bio on Sindhutai Sapkal

Sapkal was born on 14 November 1948, in Pimpri Meghe village in Wardha district in the then Central Provinces and Berar of India to Abhimanyu Sathe, a cowherder. Being an unwanted child, she was referred to as Chindhi (Marathi for “piece of rag”). Abject poverty, family responsibilities and an early marriage forced her to quit formal education after she successfully passed the fourth standard.[4] Sapkal was married off at age 12 to Shrihari Sapkal, who was 20 years older than her, and moved to Nawargaon village, Seloo in Wardha. The marriage did not last long and at the age of 20, she was left on her own to care for a girl child.

Who is Sindhutai Sapkal’s Daughter?


When Sindhutai was 10 years old, she was married to “Srihari Sapkal”, 30 years old. She was the mother of 3 children at the age of 20. Sindhutai complained to the village chief’s district officer that She did not charge the villagers. To avenge their insult, Mukhiyana Srihari (Sindhutai’s husband) was instigated by the villagers to kick Sindhutai out of the house while she was 9 months pregnant. The same night she gave birth to a girl in Tabelle (cows and buffaloes). When she went to her mother’s house, her mother refused to accept her alone (her father died, otherwise he would have kept her daughter). Sindhutai was staying with her daughter at the train station. Praying to fill her stomach and stay in the cremation at night to protect herself and her daughter. In her fight, She realized that there are so many orphans in the country who need a mother. From that moment She decided that any orphan who came to her would become her child. Sindhutai has dedicated her whole life to orphans. That is why her name is “Mai” (Mother). They adopted 1050 orphans. She had 207 sons and 36 daughters-in-law in her family till today. She has over 1000 grandchildren. Her daughter is a lawyer and many of the adopted children are doctors, engineers, lawyers and many of them also run their own orphanages. Sindhutai has received a total of 273 national and international awards, including the Maharashtra State “Ahilyabai Holkar Award” for social workers who work for women and children. Her orphanage is located in Pune, Wardha, Saswad (Maharashtra). In 2010 a Marathi film based on the life of Sindhutai was shot “Mee Sindhutai Sapkal”, which was shortlisted for the 54th London Film Festival. Sindhutai’s husband turned 80, he came to live with them. Sindhutai accepted her husband as a son, saying that she is just a mother. Today he tells with great pride that he (her husband) is their eldest son.

Who Is Sindhutai Sapkal Daughter
Sindhutai Sapkal and her daughter, Mamta Sapkal

Sindhutai Sapkal’s Servitude to The Orphans

Sindhutai Sapkal found herself in Chikhaldara, where she started begging for food. In the process, she realised that there were many children abandoned by their parents and she adopted them as her own. She had to beg even harder to feed ever the larger family. She decided to become a mother to everyone who came across to her as an orphan. She later gave away her own daughter to the Shrimant Dagdu Sheth Halwai trust of Pune, to eliminate the feeling of partiality between her own child and the adopted children.

Details of Sapkal’s struggle were provided in the weekly Optimist Citizen on 18 May 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 devoted herself to orphans. As a result, she was fondly called “Mai”, which means “mother”. She nurtured over 1,500 orphaned children and through them had a grand family of 382 sons-in-law and 49 daughters-in-law. She has been honoured with more than 700 awards for her work. She used award money to buy land to make a home for orphaned children. Sapkal died of a heart attack in Pune, Maharashtra, on 4 January 2022, at the age of 73.


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