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Exploring Possibilities: Influence Without Affluence
Dear friends, today I am going to take you all to look into the life of Sindhu tai, fondly known as “ mai” the mother. She was born in a poverty struck village of Maharashtra. She had no education. She was asked to take care of buffaloes and cow. When she was 11 years or perhaps 12 years of age, she was married to a 30-year-old man.
By the age of 19 she had 3 sons and was again 9-months pregnant. In the village there was a mafia kind of a person, who for his own benefits used to make the women of the village work day n night and used to give them nothing. Sindhu tai at that time raise his voice and that person was taken up by authorities.
Furious at this the man with malignant intentions poisoned her husband’s mind saying that your wife was having several affairs and the child she is carrying was not yours. (if people cannot withstand or match a person they start to malign his/her character).
Furious at this that dumb head husband kicked her on her stomach repeatedly to kill the child. Assuming her dead he dragged her to the cowshed and left her there to die. On gaining conscious she saw that she was surrounded by cows and buffaloes in a protective ring. It was here she gave birth to a girl. It was so painful that she has to cut her umbilical cord with a sharp rock stone.
She walked several kilometres away to her mother's home. Her mother refused to shelter her, due to the foolish tradition of kanya-daan . She resorted begging on railway platforms for food. Because she feared being picked up by men at night, she often spent the night at cemeteries.
Such was her condition that people called her a ghost since she was seen at night in the cemeteries. In the process, she realized that there were many children abandoned by their parents and she adopted them as her own. She then begged more vigorously to feed them. She decided to become a mother to everyone who came across to her as an orphan.
She was good singer, and her sing and beg combination helped her to take care of the orphaned children with her, to whom she was the mother. After sometime people saw the difference she was making to the society. They made an orphanage for her and started donating. Gradually she had more than a thousand children to take care.
All got good education and became, Doctors, lawyers and farmers. Something she never had. She got recognition from different bodies, local, state, national and international. She won so many awards. Years later after President of India and Governors of state gave her awards for her contribution, an old starving, sick and homeless man came to her, asking for shelter.
It took her only few minutes to recognise, that he was her ex-husband, who almost killed her and abandoned her to die. According to her, the most meaningful thing that Sindhutai was able to do in her life was forgive him and gave him shelter, but not as wife, but as his mother. You all must be wondering what happened to the girl, born in the cowshed. Well she became a medical Doctor.
Sindhutai says, her life is based on 2 principles, gratitude and forgiveness. All the tragedies in her life gave her the gift to empower her and every time we receive gift we express gratitude. She considered it all the grace of God. As per her, life was a road full of thorns and she made friends with those thorns and her life became beautiful. She spread the same beauty to others and made their life beautiful.
This is called “influence without affluence”. Life full of compassion and grace. If one has the compassion he/she can create the difference without the required resources. This is a story which does not needs any debriefing. …..one can understand it with one’s own unique perspective and explore possibilities…
(The author is a Lucknow-based leadership coach, corporate trainer and an Internationally certified Design Thinking Master practitioner)