Category: shuktara

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Raksha Bandan at shuktara

Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between brother and sister. Traditionally sisters tie a "rakhi" (thread or ornamental bracelet) around the right wrist of their brothers.

Every year a few women associated with shuktara go to the boys' home and tie rakhis on all of the boys and young men - as you can see they are absolutely delighted to participate in this celebration of the bond between siblings.

According to Wikipedia this "transformed tradition" also happens outside the shuktara homes:

"Among women and men who are not blood relatives, there is also a transformed tradition of voluntary kin relations, achieved through the tying of rakhi amulets, which have cut across caste and class lines, and Hindu and Muslim divisions."

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

In Memory of Tookie maashi

Our beloved Tookie (Anjali Singh) has died.
She fought a long hard battle with cancer and spent a lot of that time with all the girls at Lula Bari.

Known as Tookie Mashi, she was one of the first staff members when we started our girls home.
Her happy and generous nature worked miracles with the girls, particularly with Tamina.

During most of her remission she was at Lula Bari where she was happiest, but as the pain became harder to bear she returned home where she died on Thursday 16th August.
We will all miss her.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Happy Independence Day from shuktara!

Independence Day is usually celebrating around India by raising the flag and tossing marigold petals. Shuktara is no exception and holds their annual Independence Day celebration on the roof of the boys' home.

Sunil loves all celebrations but this one is especially loved because he absolutely adores the Indian flag. Most of our photos over the years show Sunil saluting the flag he loves.

Happy Independence Day from everyone at shuktara!

(all photos by Raju Das)

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Lula Bari girls get fitted for splints

Turnabout is fair play - now it's the girls' turn to get fitted for splints at the Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCFC).

An outing calls for colourful frocks and maybe even a splash of maquillage - our girls always want to look their best!

First the splints will be made to order and then the girls will return for their final fitting - stay tuned for photos of the new splints.

shuktara homes - 2018 August - Rabia with Sunil and Ashok at shuktara

Goodbye Rabia

shuktara homes - 2018 August - Rabia with Sunil and Ashok at shuktaraAll of us at shuktara are devastated by the loss of Rabia who died so suddenly on Monday.
Rabia was one of the first students in a small group that Bryan and Alison taught typing and computer skills to in 1999. Those small classes would become known as Uddami and they moved to Anwar Shah Road. Her skills in leadership developed and her role became pivotal in the success of the students that she herself started teaching.

Those early classes were held in a room adjacent to the original shuktara boys house where Rabia struck up such a wonderful loving friendship with Sunil and later with Ashok - (both pictured here).
Coming as often as she could to the celebrations we hold at our homes, she was a face known and loved by all the staff as well as the whole shuktara family with whom she was so gentle with.
Rabia was instrumental in helping out with computer classes for the Deaf community here in Kolkata which also included some of our young people.

We are all heartbroken at losing her.
We will miss her immeasurably.
And our annual Saraswati Puja will never be the same again.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Sunil and his chariot

Sunil is a fan of all festivals in India but Rath Yatra* is one of his favorites. Every year he celebrates with a miniature version of the three huge chariots used in the main celebration in Puri (on the Bay of Bengal south of Kolkata).

This festival is also celebrated in Kolkata and for a week you will see pop-up stands selling small replicas of the chariots used to carry Lord Jagannath and his entourage. Pulling the chariot is considered an auspicious deed - for all the years that Sunil has pulled his chariot we expect he has accumulated a lot of good karma.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

*Wikipedia: Ratha Yatra or Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival is a Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India.

Learning to cook at Lula Bari

We like to encourage self-sufficiency at shuktara so a cooking class was arranged by the maashis for the girls at Lula Bari. Everyone has to start at the beginning so you can see that they were taught simple tasks like slicing tomatoes and potatoes.

Practice makes perfect as Lali demonstrates in the video below as she uses the traditional vegetable cutter on tomatoes.

We're looking forward to their first chicken curry but that may take a bit more time...