Puja Bagh is autistic and doesn't always join in with activities, but when our friend Sunnie brought giant balloons she found them very sensory. You can see in the photos just how relaxed she was.
Our friend Emma Christmas is in Kolkata and she brought some leaves from a local forest with her. On her way back from Santiniketan she had an idea for the Lula Bari girls and young women to make leaf garlands and decorate the house.
Lots of paint and lots of laughter - it was messy and a lot of fun for everyone.
These polaroids seem to capture the individual spirit of each of the girls and young women who live at Lula Bari.
Thank You Caroline De Penning for spending so much of your time at Lula Bari and for taking these wonderful photos for the girls to treasure.
Caroline comes regularly to our girls home to do fun activities which have included hair and make-up and often other beauty parlour things.
We also appreciate the involvement of Kolkata International Womens Club and their support of our girls. This year they are paying school fees for all of the girls who attend REACH.
Visitors and friends have expressed a very loving interest in how Puja is progressing.
She is now enrolled at REACH school in their Autistic Unit, which she is loving. She has found her own place there in the classroom where she feels safe (as she does at home) away from the noise of people around her and where the teachers can easily interact with her.
She laughs now and when she does it feels like outbursts of joy.
She has the care and attention of the staff at Lula Bari as well.
Puja is definitely at home and safe.
Last week Pappu was really busy with paperwork for admission to REACH school for Puja and Guria. He had taken photos of Guria and Puja and had written deep descriptions of their needs and abilities. We were expecting them to get admission after the Summer holiday in June.
Sometimes things happen fast in India - Pappu was able to get both girls enrolled immediately and they started on Monday (3 April 2017).
Of course Guria is loving it because she is completely delighted with each new experience. Puja is feeling more and more settled and she loves going out to school every day.
The girls' interaction with other people is of primary importance. In school they are learning to be in different situations and coping with different experiences outside of their home. This is just one of the ways they will become part of their community.
Our friend Emma Christmas has visited us at shuktara a couple of times. On both her visits she has made sure that her priority is to spend time with the girls. On Wednesday 22nd March she came with Simon her partner.
They brought lots of things from London and had a great afternoon on this short stopover visit. Emma did a makeup session with the girls. They also brought balloons and cut and paste people to play with. It was a wonderful afternoon and we were all happy to see Emma again. The girls especially love her.