On 10th March 2014 Pappu was called by Childline India Foundation (CIF) because they had a girl they were unable to place. Muniya had been abandoned by her mother at Sealdah Train Station and left alone on a platform. She was rescued by CIF and kept in their shelter. For four months they tried to place her in a residential home but no one would take her. On 13th March, Lula Bari became her home.
Muniya is probably about 14 years old and says nothing about her family name or her family situation. This is quite normal for most of our children and young people. Even the ones that have been with us for years still do not talk about their past. It is something that we may never know. Certainly Muniya is very traumatised by her mother leaving her at the station and does not want to talk about it. We asked her twice and both times her mood totally changed and she walked away from us.
The best thing for Muniya was that we allowed her to slowly settle into her new life at shuktara, which is a loving and safe place for her to be. When she first arrived she was quite quiet and a little bit unsure, but now she is so much happier. She goes to REACH school along with Tamina, in their Special Education Department, and is really happy to be going to school.
Having the freedom of Lula Bari to just run around and play and enjoying activities with the tutors - gradually this environment is helping her become settled and much more grounded.
None of the children or young people who arrive to live at shuktara come with a known birth date or any other official documents that would give us this information, like a birth certificate. At some point they choose their own day to celebrate. After more than a year of being with us Muniya decided she wanted to share her birthday with David (the founder of shuktara). So she now has a birthday to celebrate - January 20th!