India’s first ever single man to adopt a child claims he is Madonna’s inspiration for wanting to become a mother to an Indian youngster.
Sandip Soparrkar, the 32-year-old Bollywood choreographer who gave lessons to Madonna during her visit to India in January, realised a four-year dream in October last year and adopted his son Arjun from Bal Anand orphanage in Chembur. It is likely that Madonna will adopt a child from the same orphanage.
Arjun — who is three next month — is said to have melted the Material Girl’s heart and convinced her to adopt an Indian child for herself. The pop icon controversially adopted her son David from Malawi in 2006 - the boy’s father claims he was powerless to stop the adoption.
"Madonna loved Arjun,” Soparrkar said. “Arjun couldn’t pronounce her name right and was calling her Aunty Codona — or Aunty ko dhona. If translated to Hindi, it means ‘wash this aunt’ so we had a good laugh about that."
Soparrkar said he would do anything he could to support Madonna if she wants to go ahead with an Indian adoption. "It took me four years to finally adopt Arjun, so I know the process well and will be offering her — or anyone else who wants to adopt in India —any help or advice I can to open doors for others," he said.
"I’m very honoured that it is said she is taking inspiration from me because I have always taken inspiration from her. It would be wonderful if she adopted an Indian child."
Soparrkar faced some criticism in India when he adopted Arjun because he works in show biz and was not thought to be good family material.
"Although there are many children on the streets and in institutions, all of them are not available for adoption," said Sunil Arora, adoption coordinator from Bal Asha Trust orphanage in Mahalaxmi.
The orphanage has been propelled into the limelight due to this connection, but the children’s home that lies 25 kilometres from Ranchi has denied any contact from Madonna.
"I have no idea about Madonna’s plans and adoption isn’t even possible now for we have not yet applied for the requisite license," says its president Dr Manjeet Singh Pardesi. "We will apply for it next month. Thereon, if it is Madonna or anybody else who wants to adopt a child and take proper care, we will know."
(With inputs from Preeti Maheshwari)