One of the amazing things about life is how some people, despite all their hardships, can rise up and make the world a better place.
Sindhutai Sapkal has had a tougher life than most people could even imagine. An unwanted daughter, she was just ten years old when she was married off to an abusive 30-year-old man she didn’t know.
At age 20, Sindhutai was thrown out on the street by her husband while nine months pregnant. She walked to the house of her mother, who refused to help her.
She gave birth alone in a cow shed, cutting the umbilical cord with the edge of a stone.
On the street and begging for enough food to keep her and her baby daughter alive, Sindhutai saw how many children were abandoned on the streets of India.
“When I was out myself on the streets begging for food and fighting for survival each day, I realized that there are so many orphans who have nobody to go to. I decided to take care of them and raise them as my own,” Sindhutai says.
Gradually she began to adopt every street orphan she met, becoming known as the “mother of orphans”.
“I had no one with me, everyone abandoned me. I knew the pain of being alone and unwanted. I didn’t want anyone to go through the same,” Sindhutai explains.
She has adopted and cared for over 1400 orphans, and has helped them get an education, get married and find work. Some of these orphan children have become doctors, lawyers and engineers due to her help.
Sindhutai has received over 500 awards for her incredible work, and uses whatever money she receives to build homes for street orphans.
She and her biological daughter run several different charities and organisatrion in India trying to improve the lives of orphans and abandoned children.