On Tuesday evening, this renowned social worker and Padma Shri recipient passed away at the age of 73 due to cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Pune. “She was admitted to the hospital for more than a month and died due to a heart attack at the hospital today at 8.10 pm,” said Dr Shailesh Puntambekar on Tuesday.
Throughout her lifetime, she struggled with extreme poverty and endured immense hardship, which ultimately made her the fierce woman she was. Sapkal devoted her whole life to orphans. As a result, she was fondly called “Mai” or “Mother of orphans”. 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 had won numerous awards and recognitions for her exceptional work. Some of the awards include, Padma Shri award, Nari Shakti Puraskar, and Mother Teresa Awards among others. She used to buy land to make homes for her children with this prize money.
PM Narendra Modi took Twitter to pay his tribute to this renowned social worker. He tweeted, “Dr. Sindhutai Sapkal will be remembered for her noble service to society. Due to her efforts, many children could lead a better quality of life. She also did a lot of work among marginalized communities. Pained by her demise. Condolences to her family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
Through her heroic work and strong determination, she succeeded in becoming the mother of thousands of orphans and providing them with food and shelter. Like a mother, she was selfless and always used to put her children first. Today, the world is grieving the loss of its very own “Mai”. Even though Sindhutai Sapkal is not with us anymore, her works will continue to inspire and encourage the next generation.
- Mohor Bhattacharjee
Mohor Bhattacharjee is from Kolkata, currently pursuing Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Beside writing, she likes music, movies, and cats.