An Ode to Dr. Sindhutai Sapkal

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

What motivated me to write on Dr. Sindhutai Sapkal

when the whole world knows and reverberates about her?

It is my deep dealizations as a woman.

‘Dr. Sindhutai Sakpal’ needs no introduction. She is the epitome of humanity, courage, and conviction. She has proved to the world what selflessness is. We all need to know and realize that how strong can be the conviction of a pain-ridden soul to change the lives of many others around her when she herself had lost all hope and was on the mercy of others. Sindhutai’s story truly depicts the story of a superwoman who had the courage not only to change her own destiny but the fortune of others also.

It was a beautiful sunday morning when we all had gathered in the campus of the Neville Wadia Institute of Management Studies & Research, Pune. The occasion was to listen to Sindhutai as the key speaker in the event organized by the Learning and Development Global Pune Chapter in association with the Wadia Institute. It was one of the most precious and priceless moments in my life when I got to address Sindhutai’s session as MOC along with beautiful Manisha Singh. Sharing the same podium with Sindhutai was completely unbelievable and a dream come true. Listening to the living legend live was nothing but a spectacular lifetime experience. I also took my elder son Shreyas along with me as I wanted him to look life at closer angles and what life can be? As a parent, I wanted to make him learn that everything is not available on the platter and whatever you want in life, you have to earn it.

Dr. Sindhutai is an extraordinary woman of India, who is affectionately called “Mother of Orphans”. She is a social worker and a social activist, and Her Story is all about love, compassion, and devotion and till now she has adopted and nurtured over 2000 orphans. She made her adversities into achievements and has been honoured with more than 750 Awards including the prestigious Nari Shakti award 2017 from President of India, Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice (2013), Real Heroes Award, given by CNN-IBN and Reliance Foundation (2012), Ahilyabai Holkar Award, given by the Government of Maharashtra to social workers in the field of woman and child welfare (2010) and many more. She was conferred a Doctorate in Literature by the DY Patil Institute of Technology and Research in 2016.

The 2010 Marathi film ‘Mee Sindhutai Sapkal’ by Anant Mahadevan is a Biopic inspired by the true Story of Sindhutai. The film was selected for world premiere at the 54th London film festival.

Her heart-wrenching story has not only moved millions across the globe but has also inspired zillions. This gutsy woman has shown to the world that you can lead a compassionate and contented life if you put your heart and soul into something that gives you ultimate bliss and quenches your soul’s thirst.

Listening to Sindhutai’s life ordeal is a very painful experience. When she was narrating her life journey, I was in a state of deep shock.

When she was explaining how eager she was to read and write, but her own mother thrashed her for that. It was a complete bouncer for me as I fondly remember how my mother used to scold me when I escaped studying because her only dream was to see me achieving great academic heights.

Then Sindhutai further narrated that how badly her husband treated her when she used to study at her in-law’s house. It completely jolted me as since my Marriage both my husband and my mother-in-law have been completely supporting me like a rock in all my endeavors. Another shocker was when Sindhutai informed how brutally she was tortured and tormented when she was pregnant and was about to give birth. She had been mercilessly thrown into the cow-shed and left to die. How a mother cow came to her rescue and saved her from other cattle and when in the state of unconsciousness, she delivered the baby girl and she herself had to cut the Umbilical cord by hitting a stone 16 times. I remembered my own experiences of delivery at the time of birth of my two Sons. Though my pregnancies were a nightmare as I was on complete bed rest, my family provided me with the best care and support.

I then realized do I have the right to complain and crib over petty issues? No, certainly not. How blessed I am and how kind god has been.

Sindhutai then told us that despite being no fault of hers, nobody accepted her, and she was completely left on the mercy of god. To feed herself and her baby, she resorted to begging on the railway station. She used to beg for alms and used to travel on trains. She used to sing, and the people used to give her leftover food. but as she was a divine soul, she could not see others suffering from the pangs of hunger. So, whatever she used to get as food, she used to distribute among other beggars. As she did not feel safe at the railway station being young at that time, she decided to live in the crematorium. Once she even had to feed herself and her child with the food being offered to the dead as a last rite ritual. With these given conditions, she thought of ending her life thrice. But her own inner voice stopped her. She laughingly told us that when she used to listen to her inner self that, “sindhutai tu galti kar rahi hai”, then she used to say aloud to herself, “marna cancel”. How brave she must be?

Narrating further, she apprised us of the incident that completely changed her life and she got the ultimate purpose of her life.

It was a dark and thunderous night, she boarded a bus, the conductor asked her to step down as he judged her from her torn clothes. Even the other travelers objected. She argued as she was ready to buy the bus ticket, nobody had the right to disallow her. As the heated discussion was going on, suddenly a man appeared out of the blue and asked her to come down. He looked like an old beggar and told her that he liked her singing and would get her a small cup of tea. She finally agreed and stepped down the bus. As the bus moved only a few meters ahead, there was a thunderous stroke and a lightning hit the bus. The whole bus burnt and whosoever was in the bus was left dead. The man who rescued her just disappeared and when she searched for him, she could not find him. A messenger of god she thought came and saved her. It appalled sindhutai as she realized that her life is not her own and she has no right to take it away.

That very moment she decided to live for others, Mai (mother of orphans) was born that night.

After getting the purpose of her life, Sindhutai came to pune and took a step which is not only hard to imagine but to execute also. She came to pune and entrusted her little daughter whom she had named Mamata to Shrimant Dagaduseth Halwai trust so that she could be looked after properly. The deep rationale behind her step was that if her daughter remained with her, she won’t be able to do justice with other children.

Have we seen such a stupendous sacrifice anywhere?

How painful it is for a mother to give away her own child to look after the other children as her own? Only a divine soul can do that. from there, her journey of long 40 years of social service started and is continuing…

Sindhutai’s tragic life story is the true story of emancipation from darkness to divinity. For me as a woman, her story is all about:

  1. Abject poverty to Abundance,

  2. Bondage to Bliss,

  3. Courage to Compassion,

  4. Drudgery to Devotion,

  5. Endanger to Embellishment,

  6. Force to freedom,

  7. Grief to Greatness,

  8. Hunger to Heights,

  9. Ignorance to Infinite,

  10. Jeopardy to Jubilant,

  11. Lament to Legend,

  12. Misery to Motherhood,

  13. Nothingness to Nobility,

  14. Penury to Prestige,

  15. Quest to Quench,

  16. Rags to Richness,

  17. Struggle to Survival,

  18. Turmoil to Triumph,

  19. Unwanted to Unique,

  20. Victim to Valour,

  21. Woman to Warrior.

What I have learned from her is that TRUE SALVATION lies in serving others. It is rightly said,”Service to mankind is service to God.” We cannot judge our present and future through past. She herself quoted that “life mein kuch bhi ho sakta ahi jo kabhi socha bhi Na ho”.

‘Live life to the fullest’ is the only mantra. Life throws many challenges but face them with complete courage and conviction that one day the challenge itself admits ‘TU JEETA MAIN HAARA’.

Hare Krishna!!!

About Dr. Gazal Goyal Bansal

Dr. Gazal Goyal Bansal, Ph.D

Founder and CEO, Life Coach and Speaker, Dr. Gazal Bansal is a

Doctorate in Political Science, UGC (JRF), a Gold Medalist, Certified ISO 22000 Lead Auditor, a Licensed Practitioner of NLP from The Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (TM) & a Pranic Healer.

​As a spiritual evangelist and a practical thinker, she is a radical enthusiast and a firm believer in the philosophy of conceptual pragmatism, logical reasoning, and the spiritual energy matrix. She is a staunch believer of the fact that before you speak, your energy speaks.


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