How I became the mother of a thousand orphans? | Mrs. Sindhutai Sapkal | TEDxVESIT

Here, Sindhutai Sapkal, affectionately known as the ‘Mother of Orphans’ recounts the hardships she faced during her long journey, struggling to come to terms with life. She is an Indian social activist widely known for her contributions towards raising orphaned children in India.
Born in 1948, she grew up in a small village in Maharashtra. Forced to quit school and get married at the tender age of ten, life was never going to be easy. Abandoned by her husband, she shares how she gave birth to her daughter all by herself in a cow shelter, and subsequently took to begging on the streets in order to survive.
She started adopting orphaned children she found and feeding them what little she could, even donating her own biological child to a welfare trust so she could feed the rest of the children under her care.
Her journey has been one of sacrifice and struggle. She tells us about what the purpose of life means to her, and offers us advice based on the values and lessons she has learnt over many fulfilling decades.
Affectionately known as “Mother of Orphans”, Sindhutai Sapkal is an Indian social worker and social activist known particularly known for her work in raising orphaned children in India.
She has nurtured over 1,050 orphaned children. She has been honoured with over 273 awards for her dedication and work. She was recently awarded “Nari Shakti Award 2017”, and others include “Mother Teresa Award” for Social Justice, “Real Heroes Award”, “Shivlila Mahila Gourav Award”. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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