Author: shuktara

Adam and his son visit shuktara

Adam Thompson first visited shuktara back in 2001. After that visit he was committed to supporting the work of shuktara in whatever way he could and when Shuktara Trust UK was registered he naturally became a Trustee.

On the 18th February Adam returned to shuktara with his son Frankie. Being able to show them around Anna Bari, Lula Bari and Shuktara Cakes was a thrill for all of us.

In Adam’s words…

“I know it sounds like just the ridiculous talk of a cosseted north London liberal (which I am!), but everything felt like… home. This is what I remember feeling a decade and a half ago and it was amazing to feel it, perhaps even more strongly, on this visit.”

“The great privilege for both of us was to feel like we were welcomed into this zany, slightly chaotic, incredibly warm family. It just felt so special.”

To read the full transcript of what Adam wrote about his visit to shuktara please click here: https://us7.campaign-archive.com/?u=19bfe4a278e40a10e7e00286b&id=f79a2a8073

Saraswati Puja at Anna Bari

Saraswati Puja is an annual event at shuktara and everyone is invited. Shuktara has a history of celebrating Saraswati Puja going back to the early days in Jubilee Park when our first boys attended REACH school.
Even though they have finished, Aakash has just started! Now that our girls are coming to the end of their studies at the same school, this Puja has a special place in the story of shuktara and this year we remembered Anna and kept his photo next to the goddess.

Here are some photos of the festivities – many thanks to Marci Radin and Sarah Annay for their fantastic images.

shuktara home for young people with disability

Shuktara welcomes Bappa Singh

At the end of January we took a new boy into Anna Bari.

Pappu was contacted by an agency who had found a boy with cerebral palsy in the centre of Kolkata. Initially he was wary of taking this young boy in case his family came to claim him. Soon it became clear that no one would come looking for him as his mother had left him on Park Street, a really busy area, outside a hotel on a street corner – we are sure she did this knowing that he would be taken into care.

So after a couple of days, Pappu said yes!

Bappa Singh is verbal and hearing David, loves to repeat “How Are You” in a what sounds like a London accent! He’s a bright little boy and even though his legs and one arm don’t work very well he is very mobile.
He has a bright future at shuktara. And with all that has happened to him – he hasn’t stopped smiling.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

David’s 60th at Anna Bari

Shuktara’s founder David Earp turned 60 on 20th January and of course there was a fabulous party on the roof of Anna Bari. Decorating and styling for the event culminated in a tent of sheer vintage jamdani saris in a rainbow of colours, a jasmine throne (the second in what is sure to become a shuktara trend) and a carpet of literally thousands of multicolored rose petals.

All of shuktara’s young people and staff dressed up in their best outfits for this fantastic event. Sanjay and Raja were there with their wives and daughters. The children loved throwing handfuls of rose petals and watching them float back down. To be honest the adults found the cascading rose petals almost as exciting as the children.

Although it’s difficult to keep a secret in Kolkata the arrival of Alison Saracena and Christi Lane-Barlow (who came from Laos to join in the celebration) was a complete surprise to David. Friends of David and shuktara: Emma Christmas, Caroline de Penning, Maura Hurley and Kelly Dwyer also joined everyone on the roof for the festivities.

Judging from the photos we can truly say that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event and everyone who attended enjoyed this very enchanting evening to celebrate David’s 60th birthday.

All photos by Christi Lane-Barlow

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Spa Day at Lula Bari

Sunnie Niklaus is visiting shuktara and that always means exciting activities for the girls. Last Sunday she went to Lula Bari for a "spa day" - let's just let Sunnie tell you about it in her own words...

"Home "spa days" are one of my favorite things. I do them with my young nieces, my roommate, my friends, etc. It’s basically relaxing and catching up with a little nail polish, face masks and probably some glitter mixed in.

A spa day with everyone at Lula Bari seemed like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

There were cleansing face wipes, aloe moisturizer and face massages, epic amounts of sparkly blush and lipstick.
After lunch it was manicures, pedicures, a lipstick color swap and crafting some floral hair accessories.

The afternoon ended as everything should, with pizza. 🙂 All in all, a fantastic girly afternoon at Lula Bari!"

Tamina took the prize for epic amount of blush

Muniya for working the heck out of a flower hair accessory

Guria for lipstick color swaps (red, pink, red, pink)

Lali for pure enthusiasm

Prity for rocking a hint of blush with just a touch of lip gloss

Moni for a solid braid game

Puja for mastering the art of relaxation

Thank you Sunnie for the wonderful "spa day"!
shuktara home for young people with disabilities

Aakash assessment at REACH

Over the years most of our young people have attended REACH school. Pappu took Aakash to REACH for his assessment and as you can see from the photo below in the car he could hardly contain his excitement. He completely won them over not only with his ability to put vegetable pieces in the right place but also with his winning smile.

Aakash starts school next week - for the first time ever! We couldn't be more proud of him.

To read more about Aakash please click here.