Author: shuktara

shuktara

Mahalaya and a Birthday Weekend at shuktara

On Saturday 28th September we celebrated Mahalaya, this is the day that Durga comes to earth and the beginning of the celebration of Durga Puja which starts when her face is unveiled on the 4th October.

28th September is the day that Subhash celebrates his birthday and also a day when visitors come to shuktara with gifts for everyone because of Mahalaya and the forthcoming festival.

This year we had a lot of gifts – clothes, food, umbrellas and blankets and a promise of a water filter machine for Anna Bari. Pappu’s friends Navin and Rajesh filled up a car with food (see photo) enough for both our homes.

When everyone found out that Guria celebrates her birthday the following day, on the 29th September, our guests rushed out to buy cake for her, to be kept in the fridge. So Guria ended up with 3 cakes on Sunday including the one that Pappu had organised for her.

Nobody arrives at shuktara with a date of birth. But everyone has a birthday that they choose or is chosen for them if they are unable to do so.

Thank You to all our friends and supporters here in Kolkata, India and around the world.

shuktara - Bablu Lal and Rahul

Meet Rahul, Pappu’s new assistant

Pappu, chairman of shuktara, got to the point where he realised he needed help with the piles of administrative paperwork including staff attendance sheets, daily expenses, current accounts and catching up on a backlog of last month’s papers to digitise.

Everyone appreciates Pappu and how much he does for shuktara, but the work load is too much for him alone.

Rahul was one of three people that Pappu interviewed and has a background of commerce and accounting.

Meet Rahul – here at Anna Bari with Bapi.

shuktara - Scrabble gift

Denise Deering’s gift to shuktara

Denise Deering is a long time supporter of shuktara, formerly a trustee of Shuktara Trust UK and a visitor to the shuktara homes.
Recently she made this artwork out of Scrabble pieces for us.

Pappu, chairman of shuktara, decided that the best place for it was Lula Bari, especially as we have a newly painted and decorated home.

It is now on the ground floor in a place chosen by Muniya, but before it went up on the wall Lali explained all the words to Guria and it appears that she expected something to happen as she tapped the glass. Guria loves playing with phones and tablets and was perhaps disappointed to see this one go up on the wall.

Thanks to Denise for her constant support and love.

shuktara

Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma is considered to be the divine architect and creator of the world. On this day workers ask him to bless their tools (from a simple hammer to a more complex machine like a computer) and give them safe working conditions, success in their work and a better future.

At shuktara this is usually a small celebration however this year Sunil decided that the statue representing Vishwakarma could be bigger. You can see Sunil in the first video below joyfully banging with a pair of scissors during the ceremony to honour Vishwakarma.

shuktara - Pappu and Ashok

Donations to shuktara, Kolkata

On Tuesday 27th of August 2019, Pappu (chairman of shuktara in India) received the news that shuktara, Kolkata now has permission to receive donations electronically from outside India.Β 

This is the news we have all been eagerly awaiting for the last four years.

We have managed to keep both our homes running and we have been able to do everything we wanted to do over the last years, but are now looking forward to being able to do so much more for the future of the young women at Lula Bari and everyone at Anna Bari, our boys home.

Thank you all for sticking with us, supporting us and helping us out when we needed it most.

If you now wish to donate directly to shuktara, Kolkata please use the details here:

Swift Code: PUNBINBBDCA
IFC Code: PUNB0008500
Account Name: shuktara
Account No.: 3187000100080165
Bank Name: Punjab National Bank
Branch Name: Kolkata Ballygunge
Branch Address: 18/1 Gariahat Road, Kolkata 700019, West Bengal, India

shuktara - Pappu and Ashok
Nagendra Mishra (Pappu) with Ashok who was the first to hear our good news!

Our general running costs, staff salaries and expenses including school and tuition fees will still continue to be paid quarterly by Shuktara Trust UK.

If you live in the UK and pay tax then donating through Shuktara Trust UK is the very best way to donate. If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by 25%, because the charity can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift – at no extra cost to you.

shuktara - Raksha Bandhan

Independence Day / Raksha Bandhan

As far as we remember, this never happened until this year – Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan are both today, 15th August.

Lula Bari girls celebrated Independence Day by raising the flag on their new pink roof while the boys (led by Sunil of course) also raised the Indian flag.

Then as Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of any brother-sister like relationship everyone exchanged rakhi, the beautiful bracelets that are given to sisters and brothers to show your love and respect.

Definitely a day of devotion for everyone at shuktara – to India and to each other!

shuktara - Muniya holding a painting

Lula Bari painting completed!

It took us exactly two weeks to paint Lula Bari pink.

As you know the Kolkata International Women’s Club who support our girls sponsored the painting and decoration of the ground floor.

We then decided to paint all the way up to the roof and this has been sponsored by Helena Christensen and Camilla Staerk through their Pawn Shop.

Thank You for your interest in the progress of this work and your support of Lula Bari and everyone at shuktara.

We look forward to sharing more stories and photos as the girls and young women who live at Lula Bari move back upstairs.

It all started with choosing the right pink…

Tamina and Pappu are ready for the painting to start.

Our painters prep the walls.

New colour and the old colour

Painting the stairs progresses

Getting there…

Painting the stairs that go up to the roof

On the roof, painting the walls

Adding the finishing touches

Two weeks later…

Pappu inspects the work

Tamina checking out the newly painted pink walls. Now it’s time to re-hang the pictures!

Gifts from friends

Feeling very grateful for gifts and support for everyone at shuktara!

Our friend Karuna Ezara Parikh and her husband Amitesh had a monsoon clear out of clothes that they no longer wear and one of our neighbours bought a water filter machine for the girls house.

Below are photos from Lula Bari with the girls modeling their new dresses and also Sunil, Bablu and Bappa are proudly showing off their new outfits. Lali is clearly excited about the new water filter at Lula Bari.

Thanks to our Kolkata friends for their generous and thoughtful support!