Category: shuktara

shuktara - Sanjay, Rubel, Raja

Rubel comes to shuktara

Just a few days before our Founders Day, at the end of June, shuktara Chairman, Pappu, received a phone call from Childline about a young man with cerebral palsy who had been found in North Kolkata unable to explain what he was doing. Because he was also Deaf, the police were informed and Childline held him at one of their night shelters.

Pappu immediately said yes to Rubel and he came to shuktara on 27th June. He does not seem to have any knowledge of sign language and we have not really got very far in knowing his story, because of his lack of communication – but Pappu, the staff at Anna Bari and the shuktara boys are all with him and he seems to be learning and understanding some basic signs. He appears to be a very intelligent young man and we are being gentle with him as he comes to understand his new situation. Currently we have no way of knowing whether he has lost his family, or been abandoned. Not many of us can understand what it must be like to lose or be abandoned by your family. For Rubel add to the mix his confusion, his mild autism and the fact that he’s Deaf and hasn’t learnt sign language yet – and he has cerebral palsy!

Thank God he has met Sanjay, Bapi, Vijay and Raja – who know EXACTLY what he’s going through.

shuktara Founder's Day 2019 - David and Sunil holding a photo of Anna

1st July 2019 shuktara Founder’s Day

On the 1st July everyone at shuktara celebrated our Founder’s Day, commemorating the day that Anna and Sunil came on the 1st July 1999. Twenty years of shuktara is definitely something to celebrate. A dedicated team spent several days decorating the roof with draped vintage saris and jasmine garlands. There was a swing version of the Jasmine Throne, which is starting to be a serious shuktara tradition.

All afternoon and into the early evening a Hindustani music group played. A phuchka wallah was at the entrance of Anna Bari offering everyone what is surely the favorite Bengali snack. For those of you unfamiliar with phuchka they consist of a round light crunchy exterior filled with boiled potato mash, onion, green chillies, boiled Bengal gram or white peas, chaat masala, cumin powder, rock salt, chili powder, a squeeze of lime, fresh coriander, and tamarind puree.

Between the phuchka and the beautiful music most people sat downstairs and it was really lovely. The music was divine and had the most wonderful calming effect on everyone.

So many people congratulated us on 20 years and we thank you for your words of support and encouragement. We’re all looking forward to the next 20 years of shuktara!

Click here for more videos of our shuktara Founder’s Day…

shuktara - Sunil and Anna

Today shuktara celebrates 20 years!

1999-2019

First day of shuktara 1999 On 1st July 1999 the founder of shuktara, David Earp, agreed to take responsibility for two teenage boys with disabilities, Anna and Sunil.

The idea was to keep the home small and take in children and young people slowly – first boys, then girls. This was only possible due to the dedication and commitment of David (the founder), Pappu (manager, foster father, chairman and so much more) and the other staff, many of whom have been with us from the early years.

To the right is a photo of Anna and Sunil with David. Sadly Anna passed away last year but we hold him in our hearts and have named the boys home Anna Bari in his memory.

Below is an early photo of the boys, and on the right, the first three girls of Lula Bari, the girls home.

This is how shuktara began…

The photo below is shuktara today…

The year when each person became part of the shuktara family is next to their name. We can’t really say that this is a complete picture because just a few days ago someone new came to Anna Bari. We promise to tell you more about him later because now it’s time to celebrate…

20 years of shuktara!

To read more about the history of shuktara click here.

For more about the people of shuktara go to our shuktara family page where you can learn more about each individual.

Puja in front of the newly painted Lula Bari wall

Painting Lula Bari Pink

We’ve only just begun…
As you know our friends at Kolkata International Women’s Club sponsored the painting and decoration of the ground floor of Lula Bari. Photo opposite shows Puja sitting in front of the newly painted pink wall.

Pappu has hired a team who will start work on the roof. This is to make it clean, strong and damp proof before the monsoon hits.

Then they will start painting the stairwell down to the first floor where all the girls sleep. When that is finished they will also paint the stairwell down to the ground floor, including all windows, frames and doors on the first floor itself.

Helena Christensen was very excited by the opportunity to help paint the rest of the house in hot pink, so the continuation of this work is being supported by Helena and Camilla Stærk – through a percentage of sales from their Pawn Shop, STÆRK & CHRISTENSEN.

We’re very grateful to Helena and Camilla to have given this wonderful gift of renovating Lula Bari and will post photos when the work is completed.

shuktara home for people with disabilities

Excited about school!

Going to school is something that everyone at shuktara looks forward to. When someone new comes to shuktara we wait until they decide they are ready for this new experience.

Bappa arrived at Anna Bari the end of January. By the end of March he was ready to go to REACH for his assessment and started school in April. We think you’ll agree that Bappa seems especially excited about school.

shuktara home for disabled girls

Stitching with Guria

The shuktara girls are quite accomplished in stitching and have created many samplers over the years – you can see more of their work in the video below. The second short video shows just how much Guria can do despite her difficulty with fine motor skills. We think you’ll be absolutely amazed at Guria’s stitching technique.

shuktara home for disabled girls
shuktara homes birthday celebration for Bablu Lal

Bablu Lal’s birthday

At shuktara we love to celebrate birthdays. 15th May was Bablu Lal’s birthday. We think Bablu is probably the oldest person who lives at shuktara although like most of the people who live at our homes we have no actual birth information. Bablu’s birthday is during the very hot season right before the rains start in June. We’re sure that a piece of Bablu’s cake made the day a real celebration – and possibly for just a few minutes everyone could forget about the soaring temperatures.

Click here to read more about Bablu Lal.