Author: shuktara

Muniya with her doll Trijntje and behind her Moni with Fenna

Upcycled dolls from Holland come to Lula Bari

Girls at Lula Bari and their repurposed dolls

Completely upcycled dolls renamed and reclothed in vintage and brought from Holland to Kolkata by Willeke who started Stichting Help2Help.

Ellie in Holland had the idea to collect old dolls and make new clothes and give new names for each of them. She did this for our friend Willeke and her group Stichting Help2Help to raise money towards the running of our girls home which is called Lula Bari.

There are more dolls available - contact Maura at mseeds.maura@gmail.com if you would like to donate and receive your Lula Bari doll!

Tamina with Sara

shuktara - Tamina and her doll Sara

Lali with Daphne

shuktara - Lali and her doll Daphne

Moni with Fenna

shuktara - Moni with her doll Fenna

Guria with Norah

shuktara - Guria and her doll Norah

Muniya with Trijntje & Moni

shuktara - Muniya with her doll Trijntje and behind her Moni with Fenna

upcycled dolls from Holland

shuktara - upcycled dolls from Holland

shuktara - Anna, December 2015

Shree Khushi

shuktara - Anna, December 2015If you’ve never met Anna this will just look like the photo of a young Indian man.

If you’ve met Anna you will know how lovely it is to see Anna smile. We sometimes call him “Shree Khushi” which roughly translates to “Mr. Happy”. Anna needs to feel that his home is stable – the more comfortable he feels, the happier he gets.

To understand why Anna’s happiness, safety and security is so important to us, please read his story here – http://shuktara.org/anna-das/

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari - Guria and Prity

Visiting Lula Bari on Kali Puja

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari - Guria and Prity

Guria and Prity

Kali Puja is the holiday after Durga Puja, celebrated right before Diwali, the festival of lights. The exterior of Bengali houses are lit up with dozens, sometimes hundreds of little candles and fireworks start going off as soon as the sun goes down.

A visit to the girls' home, Lula Bari, was a wonderful way to celebrate the festival of Kali, the goddess of Kolkata. A few visitors from abroad were invited to meet the girls and young women of shuktara, sharing sweets and laughter.

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Muniya

Muniya

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Louise and Muniya

Tamina

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Moni

Moni

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Alison and Muniya

Muniya

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Guria, Pappu and Lali

Guria & Lali

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Guria, Pappu and Lali

Guria & Lali

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Guria

Guria

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Guria

Guria

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Louise, Muniya and Christi

Muniya

2015 Kali Puja - shuktara Lula Bari  - Lali

Lali
shuktara 2015 Durga Puja - Sunil

Celebrate Durga Puja 2015 with shuktara!

Durga Puja is the biggest and most extravagant festival in Kolkata. For weeks everyone watches the pandals (temporary, fabricated structures) being slowly constructed. The one aspect common to all of them is a huge elaborate sculpture of the Hindu goddess Durga. During this Puja everyone at shuktara goes "pandal hopping" to view and enjoy the creative depictions of the goddess and her temporary home.

Sunil is never happier than when there is puja going on – and the biggest and best puja of all is DURGA PUJA!

Ashok
Pappu and Ashok
Pappu with Bapi, Ipshita and Rajesh
Ashok and friends
Lali with Minudi and Tamina
Prity
Ramesh, Sunil and Tamina with two of our mashis - Minu and Sabita
Ashok
Ramesh
Ashok
Rajesh
Lali
shuktara - Guria, new girl at Lula Bari

Guria – new girl at Lula Bari!

Learning to expect the unexpected…

29th September 2015
After Pappu's visit to Childline and his agreement to bring the new girl to Lula Bari, we were all ready and today at lunchtime, we were brought someone completely different.

Meet Guria...

Clearly she needs love, care, attention and a home right now, so even though they brought someone we weren't expecting, we are sure she is right and we are all really happy to welcome her.

Her paperwork from The Kolkata Police say that she was found "lying on the road" on 17th August at 7:05 pm and has since been in a night shelter. Her medical report states that she is "mentally ill", but we can inform you right now, that this little one is as bright as a button and really ready to communicate. She is hearing, but non verbal and already seems to be settled into her new home and very happy after a chicken and rice lunch.

Watch our Facebook page for more photos and news from Pappu about what happened to the other girl.

shuktara - Ramesh helps with Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma Puja on the roof

shuktara - Ramesh helps with Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma Puja is usually celebrated in the workplace and always on the roof of the shuktara boys house in Kolkata. Essentially this is a Puja where workers have their tools blessed. This is what Wikipedia says about this festival:
It is generally celebrated on 17 or 18 September in Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Tripura. The festival is observed primarily in factories and industrial areas, often on the shop floor. As a mark of reverence the day of worship is marked not only by the engineering and architectural community but by artisans, craftsmen, mechanics, smiths, welders, industrial workers, factory workers and others. They pray for a better future, safe working conditions and, above all, success in their respective fields. Workers also pray for the smooth functioning of various machines. It is customary for craftsmen to worship their tools in his name, refraining from using the tools while doing so. Modern electronic servers are also worshipped for their smooth functioning.

Special statues and pictures of Vishwakarma are normally installed in every workplace and factory. All workers gather in one common place and perform the puja .

Below are more photos from shuktara's rooftop celebration...