Tag: Anna Bari

shuktara

Joydeb, our new tutor

Thanks to your generous donations to shuktara we have been able to fund a tutor for Anna Bari.

Meet Joydeb.
He will be working with Aakash (here), Subhash, Bappa, Bablu and Sumon. But already we can’t keep some of the other boys away!

We were able to find Joydeb through Priyanka who is the girls’ tutor at Lula Bari.

He will come to Anna Bari three times a week on the days the boys don’t have physiotherapy.

shuktara - Diwali

Happy Diwali!

For 20 years now we’ve been celebrating Diwali on the roof of shuktara. Diwali is celebrated with fireworks and crackers all across India. In Kolkata Kali Puja signifies the end of the puja season and usually takes place the night after Diwali. This year both festivals were on the same night so everyone set off their fireworks together.

Sunil loves pujas but this is perhaps his very favourite one because it involves extremely loud noises he is able to hear despite being profoundly deaf. Pappu took him to choose the fireworks and the choices were overwhelming – just take a look at this shop selling only fireworks (below).

Last Sunday (27th October) at dusk small clay containers were filled with oil and a wick and placed all around both homes. As darkness fell the lamps were lit and the feeling was absolutely magical.

Then the firework show began with rockets, pinwheels, fountains and sparklers. All over the city colourful lights and sounds continued for most of the night.

Happy Diwali from all of us at shuktara!

shuktara - lamps on Diwali
shuktara - Anna remembered

Remembering Anna

Anna died on Sunday 21st October 2018.
He had been in hospital for one week during the celebration of Durga Puja here in Kolkata and on the last day of the Pujas, which is called Bijoya and is the day that the goddess returns back to her heavenly abode, we received news from the hospital that Anna was coming home the following day.

He came home and died the next day surrounded by the shuktara family.

According to the Hindu calendar his first year death anniversary and the rituals around it were held on Thursday 10th October which is when all of these photos were taken at Anna Bari, his home, named in his memory and during the course of the day Pappu did the the rituals for Anna’s final shradh.

It included lots of fire and very significant and meaningful moments, like walking outside the house with his favourite food, leaving it by the pond – walking away and not looking back.
Painful, but one more lesson in letting go.

Everyone came to Anna Bari, the girls all came from Lula Bari and the two older boys who are now married and living independently, came with their wives and daughters.
It was an exhausting day for everyone but important in so many ways to honour the memory of Anna who meant so much to us and along with Sunil were the first boys and the beginning of shuktara.

shuktara - Bablu Lal and Rahul

Meet Rahul, Pappu’s new assistant

Pappu, chairman of shuktara, got to the point where he realised he needed help with the piles of administrative paperwork including staff attendance sheets, daily expenses, current accounts and catching up on a backlog of last month’s papers to digitise.

Everyone appreciates Pappu and how much he does for shuktara, but the work load is too much for him alone.

Rahul was one of three people that Pappu interviewed and has a background of commerce and accounting.

Meet Rahul – here at Anna Bari with Bapi.

shuktara

Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma is considered to be the divine architect and creator of the world. On this day workers ask him to bless their tools (from a simple hammer to a more complex machine like a computer) and give them safe working conditions, success in their work and a better future.

At shuktara this is usually a small celebration however this year Sunil decided that the statue representing Vishwakarma could be bigger. You can see Sunil in the first video below joyfully banging with a pair of scissors during the ceremony to honour Vishwakarma.

shuktara - Pappu and Ashok

Donations to shuktara, Kolkata

On Tuesday 27th of August 2019, Pappu (chairman of shuktara in India) received the news that shuktara, Kolkata now has permission to receive donations electronically from outside India. 

This is the news we have all been eagerly awaiting for the last four years.

We have managed to keep both our homes running and we have been able to do everything we wanted to do over the last years, but are now looking forward to being able to do so much more for the future of the young women at Lula Bari and everyone at Anna Bari, our boys home.

Thank you all for sticking with us, supporting us and helping us out when we needed it most.

If you now wish to donate directly to shuktara, Kolkata please use the details here:

Swift Code: PUNBINBBDCA
IFC Code: PUNB0008500
Account Name: shuktara
Account No.: 3187000100080165
Bank Name: Punjab National Bank
Branch Name: Kolkata Ballygunge
Branch Address: 18/1 Gariahat Road, Kolkata 700019, West Bengal, India

shuktara - Pappu and Ashok
Nagendra Mishra (Pappu) with Ashok who was the first to hear our good news!

Our general running costs, staff salaries and expenses including school and tuition fees will still continue to be paid quarterly by Shuktara Trust UK.

If you live in the UK and pay tax then donating through Shuktara Trust UK is the very best way to donate. If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by 25%, because the charity can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift – at no extra cost to you.

shuktara - Raksha Bandhan

Independence Day / Raksha Bandhan

As far as we remember, this never happened until this year – Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan are both today, 15th August.

Lula Bari girls celebrated Independence Day by raising the flag on their new pink roof while the boys (led by Sunil of course) also raised the Indian flag.

Then as Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of any brother-sister like relationship everyone exchanged rakhi, the beautiful bracelets that are given to sisters and brothers to show your love and respect.

Definitely a day of devotion for everyone at shuktara – to India and to each other!

Gifts from friends

Feeling very grateful for gifts and support for everyone at shuktara!

Our friend Karuna Ezara Parikh and her husband Amitesh had a monsoon clear out of clothes that they no longer wear and one of our neighbours bought a water filter machine for the girls house.

Below are photos from Lula Bari with the girls modeling their new dresses and also Sunil, Bablu and Bappa are proudly showing off their new outfits. Lali is clearly excited about the new water filter at Lula Bari.

Thanks to our Kolkata friends for their generous and thoughtful support!

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.