On the 14th February we celebrated Saraswati Puja at Anna Bari.
A very generous friend of shuktara in Kolkata has gifted us an ambulance.
On 27 July we had special puja blessings conducted by our pandit Sumanta.
This ambulance will allow us to assist our local community, helping those who don’t have a vehicle, or can’t afford a taxi, to take their loved ones in emergency to the hospital or any other emergency it may be needed for.
We are very thankful for this donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
Pandit Sumanta blessing the new ambulance
Dolyatra is celebrated in March on varying dates each year, depending on the position of the moon, and this year it fell on March 7. The holiday is similar to Holi and commemorates the last festival of the Bengali calendar.
We celebrated Holi on Friday, 18th March, which is always looked forward to and enjoyed by everyone.
Our Dance Tutor Dev Ambuly (see photo above) came over especially to visit the two homes and as you can see, our new Puja is thoroughly enjoying herself in her new surroundings at Lula Bari.
The initial group of shuktara residents who received their first vaccine have now received their second and everyone who lives and works at shuktara continues to be well.
You may remember that Pappu chose the group who spend more time outside the homes to be vaccinated, in the hope it would protect them, their families and the more vulnerable ones that are in Lula Bari and Anna Bari. This seems to have worked and as I said – everyone is and has always stayed well.
Our hopes and dreams of the Shuktara Cakes Café are happening slowly, with teams here and in Kolkata working to make sure everything is done properly, legally and safely.
Pappu will be working with a consultant who has already set up three cafes in Kolkata. They will prepare a thoroughly costed business plan and budget so the Shuktara Trust UK trustees can ensure the cafe can operate cost effectively both in the short and long term.
I really appreciate all the support you have shown since 1999 and now that things are safer the UK trustees and I will be able to get together soon to discuss fundraising strategies to continue supporting the homes, ensuring that they have more than sufficient funds for shuktara’s annual running costs and get the Shuktara Cakes Cafe off the ground.
Of course, any of you that wish to run marathons or help us in any way – please get in touch!!!!!!!!!
My very best wishes
Everyone at shuktara continues to stay well with new restrictions coming into force.
On the 1st January we celebrated Sumon’s birthday as well as a new year and on the 3rd everyone got together at Anna Bari for lunch.
Muniya, Lali, Tamina and Moni Sumon celebrates his birthday Muniya and Guria at Lula Bari Tamina, Moni, Muniya, Ramesh, Sumon
Happy New Year from everyone at shuktara!
This is what our friend and dance teacher, Dev Ambuly, has been doing at Anna Bari during weekly dance class, working with the young people now for less than a year.
The film is made by RJ Dutta Ranjit.
On midnight 15th August 1947 India became independent. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Indian Prime Minister said these words “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”
This year marks the 74th Independence Day celebration. All over India people observe this important day with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events.
At Anna Bari, the shuktara boys home, Pinku returned to join in the celebration. Pinku is now living independently and supporting himself. After raising the flag Pinku set a green kite to fly free, much to the delight of Bappa (see the photos below). Bappa had fun moving his wheelchair in circles (video below). And Sunil, who absolutely loves the Indian flag, wore a mask embellished with the tricolour of saffron, white and green.
Meanwhile at Lula Bari the girls gathered around the flag and sang the Indian National Anthem with Pappu. The video is below – keep watching to see Muniya lift her fist in a salute to Indian independence!
Girls sing the National Anthem
Happy Independence Day!
Joydeb is our home tutor for Anna Bari and he comes three times a week to teach Aakash, Subhash, Bablu, Sunil, Ramesh and Sumon.
During the two months of lockdown he was not able to come and when he returned Pappu handed him his salary for that period.
Joydeb was shocked and surprised and said that he felt he ought not to take the money, but Pappu told him that everyone is getting salary over lockdown, why not him! And if he wants he can give a donation back to shuktara, or work an extra hour here and there.
Rather than the above suggestions, Joydeb is coming now on Sundays of his own volition and running an art class!
Short videos of the Sunday Art Class
At shuktara we have enough. We don’t have an abundance of produce, with all our local shops and suppliers closed it is hard to get a lot of what we are used to, but we have enough.
What we have, we have decided to share over the next two days with people in our locality who have nothing. These are daily wage earners, pavement dwellers and families we have been told about who are struggling.
Each bag contains 2kg rice, 1kg potato, 1kg onion, 500gm pulse and 100gm of soya bean.
Our hope is that this will help them a little over the next few days.