Tag: Anna Bari

shuktara - Sunil wearing flag mask

Independence Day at shuktara

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!

shuktara

Sunday Art Class at Anna Bari

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

shuktara

Shuktara gives back

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.

Saraswati Puja at shuktara

Saraswati Puja 2020

Saraswati Puja came early this year – the date varies according to the cycle of the moon but typically falls in late January or early February. This year the puja was on Wednesday 29th January and is the first puja of the year celebrating the goddess of wisdom and learning, Saraswati.

At shuktara this occasion is marked by a statue of the goddess Saraswati on the roof of Anna Bari, usually surrounded by bright floral decorations. Everyone dresses up in their best clothes and the young people from both homes gather on the roof to talk, eat kedgeree (a creamy savory rice dish) and, as seen in the video to the right, dance.

Everyone loves Sunil and we all love watching Sunil celebrate by dancing. Happy Saraswati Puja!

shuktara - Anna Bari

New Chairs at Anna Bari

Three specially designed chairs with toilet and standing support were purchased for Aakash, Subhash and Bappa. Now they can eat and do their studies while sitting on their new chairs.

shuktara homes

Kate Barton visits shuktara

On Saturday morning 23rd November our friend Kate Barton landed in Kolkata.

She spent 24 hours at shuktara and it was a wonderful day.

Most importantly Kate spent the afternoon at Lula Bari – named in memory of her friend Lula Gibson.

She made some great heart connections in both Lula Bari and Anna Bari, our boys home and in the evening she returned again to see the girls with a delivery of pizza that she organised for everyone at shuktara.

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