Sindhutai Sapkal was born to Abhimanyu Sathe, a cowherder, on November 14, 1948, in Pimpri Meghe hamlet in Wardha district of British India’s Central Provinces and Berar. She was dubbed Chindhi since she was an undesired child (Marathi for “torn piece of cloth”). She was forced to drop out of school after passing the fourth grade due to extreme poverty, familial obligations, and an early marriage. Sapkal married Shrihari Sapkal, a 20-year-old man, at the age of 12 and went to Nawargaon village in Wardha. The marriage did not survive long, and she was left alone with a daughter kid at the age of twenty.
Test Of Fire
Sindhutai Sapkal eventually ended up in Chikhaldara, where she began begging for food on train platforms. She discovered numerous children who had been abandoned by their parents during the process and adopted them as her own. She then pleaded with them to feed them even more vehemently. She made the decision to raise all orphans who came across her path. She then surrendered her biological kid to the Shrimant Dagdu Sheth Halwai Trust in Pune, in order to remove any feelings of bias between her biological and adoptive children.
Her Life’s Mission
Sapkal fought to get eighty-four communities rehabilitated. She met Chhedilal Gupta, the then-Minister of Forests, during the course of her agitation. He agreed that the villages should not be relocated until the government has made alternative arrangements. Sapkal displayed images of an Adivasi who had lost his eyes to a wild bear to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when she arrived to start the tiger project. According to a report, she stated, “I explained that if a cow or a hen was killed by a wild animal, the forest department would compensate them, so why not a human? She demanded payment right away.”