Tag: Anna Bari

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.

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.

Spring festival of Holi

After Saraswati Puja everyone looks forward to Holi, the spring festival of colours. All the flowering trees are in full bloom, colour is everywhere and spring has truly arrived.

Holi is probably one of the few festivals that needs no explanation because around the world photos are shared of people young and old throwing coloured powder and eventually covered in a rainbow of colours.

Here are just a few photos and videos of the fun at shuktara

Adam and his son visit shuktara

Adam Thompson first visited shuktara back in 2001. After that visit he was committed to supporting the work of shuktara in whatever way he could and when Shuktara Trust UK was registered he naturally became a Trustee.

On the 18th February Adam returned to shuktara with his son Frankie. Being able to show them around Anna Bari, Lula Bari and Shuktara Cakes was a thrill for all of us.

In Adam’s words…

“I know it sounds like just the ridiculous talk of a cosseted north London liberal (which I am!), but everything felt like… home. This is what I remember feeling a decade and a half ago and it was amazing to feel it, perhaps even more strongly, on this visit.”

“The great privilege for both of us was to feel like we were welcomed into this zany, slightly chaotic, incredibly warm family. It just felt so special.”

To read the full transcript of what Adam wrote about his visit to shuktara please click here: https://us7.campaign-archive.com/?u=19bfe4a278e40a10e7e00286b&id=f79a2a8073

Saraswati Puja at Anna Bari

Saraswati Puja is an annual event at shuktara and everyone is invited. Shuktara has a history of celebrating Saraswati Puja going back to the early days in Jubilee Park when our first boys attended REACH school.
Even though they have finished, Aakash has just started! Now that our girls are coming to the end of their studies at the same school, this Puja has a special place in the story of shuktara and this year we remembered Anna and kept his photo next to the goddess.

Here are some photos of the festivities – many thanks to Marci Radin and Sarah Annay for their fantastic images.