Padmashri recipient and social activist Sindhutai Sapkal passed away in Pune. Although Sapkal, 74, was admitted to a hospital for over a month, she passed away due to cardiac arrest on Tuesday.

Popularly referred as Mai, Sapkal ran an orphanage in the city, where she adopted more than 1,000 orphan children. Filmmaker Ananth Mahadevan made a biopic on Sapkal in 2010 titled Mee Sindhutai Sapkal. The Marathi film not only received four National Film Awards but also brought Sapkal to the forefront.

“She wasn’t legendary at that point of time in 2010,” recalls Mahadevan. “When I heard about her story I was like ‘Why isn’t she well known?’. Then the film made her recognised and I felt very sad. Do these figures really need a film for the world to know about their work?” laments the filmmaker.

For Mahadevan, the story was”unbelievable and incredible”. He still remembers…

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