On 9th June we took Prity to Mobility India for the measurement of AFO* and knee gaiters. After she was measured they asked us to come back on 29th June for the trial of these devices which will strengthen her legs so that she can stand unassisted.
She has never been able to stand so to move around either she crawls or a staff member has to carry her. When she was younger (and smaller) this was easy but as she grows it gets harder to lift her.
Prity really liked both assistive devices because now she is able to stand by holding the table or window. We hope that in the future Prity will able to walk with assistance.
*Ankle-foot orthosis: A brace, usually made of plastic, that is worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle, hold the foot and ankle in the correct position and correct foot drop. Abbreviated AFO. Also known as foot drop brace.
On 9th June Pappu, the Chairman of shuktara, took Guria along with Prity to Mobility India to pick up Guria's standing frame. With the help of the standing frame Guria can now stand without anyone holding her, and also she will be able to feed herself and do her studies. She looks really happy and comfortable with her standing frame.
Pappu decided to do the same thing for Prity as we have done for Guria and so she was also measured for knee gaiters and removable splints which are fitted to her feet. Prity will continue with her physiotherapy and we will also get a standing frame for her so that she will have more mobility.
For many years we have tried to get identification for the young people of shuktara. It is very difficult to get a birth certificate (the paper needed for all other forms of ID) because the signature of the doctor who attended the birth must be on the certificate. As almost all of the young people at shuktara were abandoned, finding the doctor present at their birth is an impossible task.
Now India has a new type of individual identification called Aadhaar.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India. This number will serve as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in India.
It can be used to open a bank account or to get a passport in 10 days amongst many other things.
Pappu arranged for a guy to come to the shuktara homes to take the necessary information. For each person in shuktara he took digital fingerprints of all 10 fingers and eye retina pattern as well as a photo of the individual. All of this information is put into a database and the Government of India issues the card within a fixed time limit.
Here's more information on Aadhaar:
The government of India has taken up the initiative to establish a single identification method of its citizens. Like in developed countries where the social security number gives every detail of that citizen to the government India is also attempting to establish an identification method by which every citizen is registered under the country and the government has the exact count of the number of people in the country. This is why aadhaar card has been started and it is made free to every citizen so that each one can obtain it easily.
The government has realized the importance of a unique identification number much like social security numbers in the United States of America. This number is a onetime number provided to the citizens irrespective of their social background, their caste, creed or religion.
Pappu, chairman of shuktara, took Guria to Mobility India along with David and Milli mashi, one of the Lula Bari house mothers.
This is Jacinta's last week as a volunteer physiotherapist in Kolkata and she made an appointment for 23rd May so Guria could be fitted with knee gaiters.
Guria was very excited by the whole process, which meant measuring her legs. Luckily, as they had one pair in her size, we were able to leave quite quickly. The next step is to get a standing frame which is being tailor-made for Guria and will be ready to pick up on 6th June.
A standing frame provides an alternative position instead of Guria just sitting or lying, it will support her in the standing position.
Read more about Guria.
As the young people of shuktara grow up our job is to support them to live independent lives integrated into the community.
Sanjay came to shuktara in 2000. From the very beginning his dream was to have a family of his own.
Through his work at Shuktara Cakes and the experience of living at our boys home, we think he learned the true meaning of family as well as the skills he needed to start his own family.
He now has a wife and daughter of his own and these photos were taken when they came to visit his shuktara family!
Read more about Sanjay.
Raja is deaf and the resident artist at shuktara. In 2009 he was the youngest artist to be showcased at CIMA gallery in Kolkata.
Like all artists Raja has times of incredible energy and creativity as well as periods of inactivity. Right now he is in a very productive phase creating dozens of works in his trademark vibrant colours.
Read more about Raja here.
Bablu Lal is the oldest resident in the shuktara homes. Although we don't know his exact date of birth he is probably in his mid-thirties.
From the very beginning when the boys moved into their home in Behala, this has been Bablu's usual place - sitting at the entrance to the house and watching the world go by!
To read more about Bablu Lal, click here.