Category: shuktara

shuktara

Raksha Bandhan at Anna Bari

Sanjay who came to shuktara in 2000 and is now living independently with his wife and daughter arrived yesterday morning to tie Rakhi at Anna Bari.

Raksha Bandhan is a day that celebrates the bond and love between a brother and sister, or siblings in general.

The words “raksha bandha” means “the bond of safety and security” that siblings promise each other, no matter the circumstances.

shuktara Raksha Bandhan
Sumi, Munni and Sanjay
shuktara

Painless Protection

First vaccinations yesterday for some of the young men and women from shuktara.

Pappu has chosen the first group of 11 today. This was based on those who go in and out of the shuktara premises most regularly.

shuktara

Helping a village

Since the latest lockdown and devastating second wave we have also had another cyclone to deal with.

It is easy for us living in a city where we have local shops and markets open in the morning hours, to forget about the villages that have nothing.

Pappu has been informed about a village outside Kolkata where they have been badly hit and is loading up with supplies to distribute to the villagers there.

Each family will receive potatoes, salt, dal, rice, soya bean protein, biscuit packets and bread. The village is on the Ganges Delta an area which was very badly hit by the cyclone as well as their homes and paddy fields being destroyed. They are not only dealing with the aftermath of flooding post-cyclone, but with covid lockdown restrictions and the worries of that as well.

shuktara celebrates Dol

Dol

Everyone in India celebrates the coming of spring with the festival of Holi, called Dol in West Bengal (Bengali: দোল পূর্ণিমা ‘Dol Purnimā’).  The celebration last Sunday involved a rainbow of colours and gave a chance for both shuktara homes to interact with people in the community.

Only on this day are young people allowed to be a little cheeky with older people by gently rubbing powdered colour on their faces. As you can see it’s a delightful celebration and no one can resist smiling.

 

shuktara

Welcome new Raju

When you consider that most of the young people who live at shuktara have been with us from around the year 2000 and that we started the girls home in 2007, we believe most of the boys are about 30 and the girls are in their 20s.

This hit home the other day when Pappu, the chairman of shuktara in Kolkata received a call from a Child Welfare Agency asking if we could take an older boy. Raju Biswas is Deaf and autistic, living with his mother in a room in a village three hours outside of Kolkata in rural Bengal. Her fear of what will happen to Raju when she dies led her to ask around for help.

Pappu met both Raju and his mother last week and on Sunday 28th February he and some of the boys from shuktara went to pick up Raju, see his mother and sign all the legal paperwork. Raju’s mother has no TV or mobile phone but her neighbour has said that she can video call from her phone to Pappu and keep in touch with her son.

We are all happy to welcome one more Raju to shuktara and let’s try to remember that even though, through habit, we talk about the girls home and the boys home, these are mostly young men and women who because of their disability have lost, left or been abandoned by their families.
Shuktara is their home now, it’s not an orphanage, it’s not a children’s home, it is their home and for most of them it will be their home forever.

Welcome Raju!

shuktara - boys in front of flowers

Saraswati Puja 2021

On 16th February shuktara celebrated Saraswati Puja on the roof of Anna Bari. Over the years this has become a tradition at shuktara and everyone is welcome. This festival prepares for the arrival of Spring and is dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, language and all of the arts. Everyone wears bright coloured clothing to celebrate the coming of Spring.

Below are photos and short videos showing this special day at shuktara.

Christmas at shuktara

Santa comes to shuktara

Our friend Debasish dressed up as Santa Claus to deliver gifts to all the boys, girls and young people at Anna Bari and Lula Bari. You can see by the smiles that everyone was happy and absolutely delighted with their presents.

Click here for some fantastic short videos from Santa’s visit to shuktara.