Author: shuktara

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Anna’s Shradh

The week following Anna's passing was filled with ceremonies to honour and celebrate his life.

As head of the shuktara family, Pappu decided to perform the traditional Hindu mourning rituals for a beloved family member.

These rituals ensure the soul has sustenance on the journey and reaches the destination safely.

On 25th October a Shradh to honour Anna, was performed. Pappu began by moulding mud from the Ganges to make a place where he fed Anna.

Prayers were said throughout the day, not only by Pappu but also by the young people of shuktara. Anna was their brother.

Pappu's wife Deepika lights incense and leads the older boys in garlanding Anna's photo.

Pappu has been the centre of this Shradh ceremony all day.
Doing the rituals according to Hindu tradition for Anna.

At the end of the Shradh everyone gathered on the roof and celebrated Anna's life by eating his favourite food - fish curry.

Anna's favourite part of the fish was the tail. Right before eating, Pappu offered this plate of food to Anna, this is called Macher Leja.

Having completed the ritual mourning for a beloved family member everyone sat together and ate.

Bijoya – farewell to Durga

After the goddess Durga's five day sojourn (celebrated as Durga Puja) she returns with her four children (Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh) to her abode in Kailash. On this day, Bijoya, the clay images of the goddess are taken from the pandals and immersed in rivers, lakes and ponds throughout West Bengal.

Lali and Tamina accompanied David and Pappu to our local house Puja where the immersion of the goddess took place.

(all photos by Raegan Hodge)

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Durga Puja – visiting the pandals

If you follow shuktara you know that Durga Puja is the biggest festival of the year in Kolkata. All over the city elaborate handmade pandals are created to house clay statues of the goddess Durga and her family who come down once a year from their heavenly abode for a five day holiday.

This year the young people of shuktara visited the pandals on the 1st day of Pujas which was Shashti and 3rd day which was Ashtami. Everyone dressed up in their new clothes, piled in the cars and went pandal-hopping.

(thank you Raegan Hodge for all the fabulous photos!)

Rest in peace Anna

shuktara homes for young people with disabilitiesThis is probably the most difficult post we've written. Anna Das passed away on Sunday 21st October at 4:00 pm. He was at home, surrounded by people who loved and cared for him.

Anna came to shuktara in 1999, a very frightened young man with serious emotional issues. He always struggled to feel at home in his environment and often it took a very long time for him to feel "at home".

Over the years he had his ups and downs. When the shuktara boys shifted to their home in Behala at first Anna had a difficult time accepting his new home. Over time he really found his place at shuktara and he often smiled. When Anna smiled it would light up the world. It was clear that Anna never forced a smile, his smile came from deep within and gave happiness to everyone who saw it.

Without the love and care given by David, Pappu and all the staff of shuktara Anna would have been a very different person. Shuktara gave Anna the very best life possible, and he had truly found his home.
Rest in peace Anna, we will never forget your smile and you will stay in our hearts forever.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Anna

At shuktara we like to post about the wonderful events and people connected to the homes. We even have a hashtag #shuktarasmiles because shuktara is a comfortable, happy, safe place where everyone smiles a lot.

Since last weekend it hasn't been easy for us to smile because Anna was admitted to hospital. His condition is serious and he has been diagnosed with TB and pneumonia. This is scary for all of us and we are quite worried about Anna.

He has a very caring doctor who is doing everything he can to ensure that Anna can come back home to shuktara.

The best place to find out how Anna is doing is our Facebook page. We ask you to please keep Anna in your thoughts - we love Anna and truly believe that love is the best medicine.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

New clothes continued…

New clothes at Lula Bari continued...

The young women at Lula Bari had such fun dressing up and modeling their new outfits donated by Mustard Seeds that we couldn't resist posting a second batch of photos, of course) with a few more new-to-us clothes.

Thank you again Maura Hurley for picking out exactly the right outfits for everyone at Lula Bari!

New clothes at Lula Bari

Maura Hurley is a longtime friend of shuktara who runs Mustard Seeds, a wonderful Kolkata organisation dedicated to art, the environment and education. Every year they undertake a local used clothing drive and distribute the clothes to local organisations. This year shuktara was one of the fortunate beneficiaries!

Everyone loves new clothes and as you can see in the photos, our girls had a great time trying on and modelling their gifts. Thank you Maura Hurley for the fabulous new-to-us clothes, just in time for Pujas!

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Happy birthday to Subhash and Guria!

Seems to be a lot of shuktara birthdays lately - first Moni on 11th September and just last week Subhash (28th September) and Guria (29th September). Everyone loves celebrating birthdays so much at shuktara, be sure to watch the short videos below of the most recent celebrations!