Judith Harris is a friend of David’s from the UK who like him has always had a passion for India. Since visiting him and the shuktara homes in Kolkata she has become a committed supporter, particularly of the girls.
Judith’s 6-year-old daughter Mary has a growing awareness of shuktara, and she has shown a genuine interest in Guria and her life there. Please read below how important Judith feels our posts, updates and stories about shuktara are, and how deeply they have affected Mary.
Basically I always share with my children your newsletters and the photos you post on Instagram. I talk to them about how your children were abandoned on the streets of Kolkata and that they now have a wonderful loving home and family. We talk also about their disabilities. Mary knows all about how Guria cannot speak and cannot walk or sit unaided. She followed all the photos of Guria having her splints made and now has her standing box.
She seems to have developed a real genuine interest and is always asking to see more photos. Even though she is so young she seems to have grasped that even though the children have suffered such misfortune and physical adversity, they are strong and can find joy in their lives. It really helps both my children to get an insight into how children live in other parts of the world and understand a bit about children living with disabilities.
It is amazing what a positive force it is for children from a young age to understand about different cultures and also that there are children in the world that have so much less than we do here in Britain. I honestly feel that it sets them up to be more open minded and embracing of the differences between us all.
Of course there is my love of India and for me I feel in a small way I can give back through my involvement in shuktara. What is so powerful however about shuktara and having visited in person is the sheer joy and family feeling that you have helped generate. Now that my children are also expressing an interest, our personal enrichment from our small involvement has further increased.
Mary drew this picture without any prompt from me.
Judith x (Mary's mother)