Padmashri recipient and social activist Sindhutai Sapkal has died in Pune. Although Sapkal, 74, was hospitalized for more than a month, she died of a heart attack on Tuesday.
Sapkal, known as Mai, ran an orphanage in the city, where she adopted more than 1,000 orphans. Director Ananth Mahadevan made a biographical film about Sapkal in 2010 entitled Mee Sindhutai Sapkal. The film not only won four National Film Awards but also brought Sapkal to the forefront.
“It was not legendary at that time in 2010,” Mahadevan recalled. “When I heard about her story I thought ‘Why is she not very well known?’ Then the movie made her recognize her and I felt very sad. Do these figures really need a movie to let people know about their work? the filmmaker mourns.
For Mahadevan, the story was “unbelievable and unbelievable.” He still remembers Sapkal’s “ecstatic” reaction to the film. “We were sitting together. She was holding my hand and her fingernails were literally digging into my flesh. After the screening, she said that she was living her life again from the beginning. “We went to the National Awards ceremony together and he gave a speech, which is never the rule,” Mahadevan shared.
Sapkal’s sudden death was a “brutal shock” for Mahadevan. “We never expected him to leave so early. “I knew she was sick, but with her resilience, I thought she would get over it,” says Mahadevan.
The director, who is currently filming in Madh, will not be visiting Pune for her final ceremonies. However, he intends to visit Mamta (Sapkal’s biological daughter) later. “I would love to go,” she sighs, adding, “I am happy that the state is going to give her the state honor as she really deserved it.”
Despite the biographical film that was released about 11 years ago, Mahadevan and Sapkal “were in constant contact”. While addressing him as Ball, as everyone called her Mai. “She was a figure who exuded so much energy, positivity and strength that it was impossible not to stay in touch with her. He would call me and wish me every Gudi Padwa. “It was a ritual,” said Mahadevan.
In a farewell note, Mahadevan calls the late Sapkal “a superman.” “The only thing he could not do was fly. Only she did everything. “He had unusual strength,” he signs.
“Typical alcohol specialist. Music evangelist. Total travel scholar. Internet buff. Passionate entrepreneur.”