September 23rd was Sanjib Shaw's birthday and he decided to share his day with the young people at shuktara.
He brought chicken, Indian sweets, chocolate and cakes as well as one sack of rice!
Pappu Mishra (chairman of shuktara) is really happy when local people develop an interest in shuktara.
Sanjib heard about us when he started visiting our locality.
So we say thank you and Janamdin Mubarek (Happy Birthday) to Sanjib!
According to Wikipedia:
"Holi (होली) is a colourful and happy Hindu holiday celebrated primarily in India on the last full moon of the lunar month of Phalguna at the end of the winter season. It falls in either late February or early March. It is also known as the Festival of Colours."
At shuktara Holi has a long history - every year everyone at shuktara throws coloured powder and liquid colour in bright, vibrant hues at each other, the staff and friends who come by. For days afterward the colour is still visible on faces, hands, and clothes as it slowly fades. Holi is a wonderful holiday, one that everyone participates in and completely enjoys.
If you’ve met Anna you will know how lovely it is to see Anna smile. We sometimes call him “Shree Khushi” which roughly translates to “Mr. Happy”. Anna needs to feel that his home is stable – the more comfortable he feels, the happier he gets.
To understand why Anna’s happiness, safety and security is so important to us, please read his story here – https://shuktara.org/anna-das/
Every year in August the 'sisters' of shuktara come to the boys home and tie rakhi on the wrists of their 'brothers' to show their affection. Across most of India the same thing happens - with brothers and sisters who are related by blood but also when that strong family bond is felt between unrelated people. It is a celebration that everyone at shuktara can participate in, and everyone enjoys this festival immensely.
[from Wikipedia] Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means "the tie or knot of protection". The word Raksha means protection, whilst Bandhan is the verb to tie. It is an ancient Hindu festival that ritually celebrates the love and duty between brothers and their sisters. The sister performs a Rakhi ceremony, then prays to express her love and her wish for the well being of her brother; in return, the brother ritually pledges to protect and take care of his sister under all circumstances.
The festival is also an occasion to celebrate brother-sister like family ties between cousins or distant family members, sometimes between biologically unrelated men and women. To many, the festival transcends biological family, brings together men and women across religions, diverse ethnic groups and ritually emphasizes harmony and love. It is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Śrāvaṇa, and typically falls in August every year.
We thought it was a photo worth sharing with you - these three young men have more serious disabilities and would not be able to live on their own. They will always have a home at shuktara.
Yesterday (April 25th) the houses shook in Kolkata. Everyone left the building and Anna decided it was time for a shower, a shave and fresh clothes. We don’t know what he thought. Today (April 26th) there have been more tremors and they left the house again.