Author: shuktara

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Gifts from London

Jewellrey gifts from friends in London arrived just in time for the beginning of the Puja season here in Kolkata. This season is similar to Christmas - everyone looks forward to getting new clothes and gifts.

As you can see the recipients of these wonderful gifts were thrilled to receive them.

Special thanks to Patricia Brady for thinking of shuktara and to Cecile Tiano for the wonderful jewellery and for your generosity in passing it along.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Happy birthday Moni!

Although most actual birth dates of the young people at shuktara are unknown we think that birthdays are an important part of someone's identity. At some point after each new person arrives at shuktara they choose their own birthday. These birthdays are remembered and celebrated.

Moni's birthday was 11th September and a celebration complete with birthday cake was held at Lula Bari.

Looks like the girls dressed up in their best frocks for Moni's birthday - maybe because of that beautiful chocolate cake!

Shuktara Documentary Interview video - Belinda, Ashok and Lali

Belinda speaks about shuktara

Belinda Carlisle has been a longtime supporter of shuktara and she is a frequent visitor to both homes in Kolkata. While in Atlanta she kindly gave some of her time to Yep! Films International and talked about her experiences with shuktara.

To help support the new shuktara documentary click here:

www.gofundme.com/shuktarafilm

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Shuktara documentary update

In October Phoebe Brown and the film crew from Atlanta will be headed back to Kolkata to continue shooting the new documentary. From Phoebe's GoFundMe page:

"As I've been working on this edit - I had the chance to pull up some great field photos and was reminded again (as if I needed reminding!) how special everyone at shuktara is. I want to give a special shout out to Pappu - whose spirit just shines in these images. Not only is he just a genuinely wonderful human being, but he puts up with our 1 million questions, translates both Bengali and sign language, helps us lug gear, gets us places we need to go....all while making sure the day to day of running shuktara is smooth. I hate that we have to work you overtime when we visit but I can't wait to do it again!"

Pappu is an extraordinary and inspiring person - his deep commitment to shuktara is obvious in these photos. To see the latest news about the documentary or to help support this amazing film please click here:

www.gofundme.com/shuktarafilm

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Raksha Bandan at shuktara

Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between brother and sister. Traditionally sisters tie a "rakhi" (thread or ornamental bracelet) around the right wrist of their brothers.

Every year a few women associated with shuktara go to the boys' home and tie rakhis on all of the boys and young men - as you can see they are absolutely delighted to participate in this celebration of the bond between siblings.

According to Wikipedia this "transformed tradition" also happens outside the shuktara homes:

"Among women and men who are not blood relatives, there is also a transformed tradition of voluntary kin relations, achieved through the tying of rakhi amulets, which have cut across caste and class lines, and Hindu and Muslim divisions."

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

In Memory of Tookie maashi

Our beloved Tookie (Anjali Singh) has died.
She fought a long hard battle with cancer and spent a lot of that time with all the girls at Lula Bari.

Known as Tookie Mashi, she was one of the first staff members when we started our girls home.
Her happy and generous nature worked miracles with the girls, particularly with Tamina.

During most of her remission she was at Lula Bari where she was happiest, but as the pain became harder to bear she returned home where she died on Thursday 16th August.
We will all miss her.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Happy Independence Day from shuktara!

Independence Day is usually celebrating around India by raising the flag and tossing marigold petals. Shuktara is no exception and holds their annual Independence Day celebration on the roof of the boys' home.

Sunil loves all celebrations but this one is especially loved because he absolutely adores the Indian flag. Most of our photos over the years show Sunil saluting the flag he loves.

Happy Independence Day from everyone at shuktara!

(all photos by Raju Das)

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Lula Bari girls get fitted for splints

Turnabout is fair play - now it's the girls' turn to get fitted for splints at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCFC).

An outing calls for colourful frocks and maybe even a splash of maquillage - our girls always want to look their best!

First the splints will be made to order and then the girls will return for their final fitting - stay tuned for photos of the new splints.

shuktara homes - 2018 August - Rabia with Sunil and Ashok at shuktara

Goodbye Rabia

shuktara homes - 2018 August - Rabia with Sunil and Ashok at shuktaraAll of us at shuktara are devastated by the loss of Rabia who died so suddenly on Monday.
Rabia was one of the first students in a small group that Bryan and Alison taught typing and computer skills to in 1999. Those small classes would become known as Uddami and they moved to Anwar Shah Road. Her skills in leadership developed and her role became pivotal in the success of the students that she herself started teaching.

Those early classes were held in a room adjacent to the original shuktara boys house where Rabia struck up such a wonderful loving friendship with Sunil and later with Ashok - (both pictured here).
Coming as often as she could to the celebrations we hold at our homes, she was a face known and loved by all the staff as well as the whole shuktara family with whom she was so gentle with.
Rabia was instrumental in helping out with computer classes for the Deaf community here in Kolkata which also included some of our young people.

We are all heartbroken at losing her.
We will miss her immeasurably.
And our annual Saraswati Puja will never be the same again.