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.
Vishwakarma Puja – 17th September
As the holiday season in the West begins, in India the festival season began with Vishwakarma Puja back in September. Vishwakarma Puja was held in the Shuktara Cakes Bakery space which is now on the ground floor of Anna Bari.
Bapi Raju Raju, Sunil & Bapi
Durga Puja – October
Durga Puja is the main festival, but due to Coronavirus restrictions the only outings made were by the Shuktara Cakes team who were selling patisserie at a local Puja.
Diwali / Kali Puja – 4th November
Jagadhatri Puja – 12th – 13th November
Following Durga Puja we celebrated Diwali and Kali Puja and ended our festivities with Jagadhatri Puja held on the 12th and 13th of November outside Anna Bari, where everyone from both homes attended and the local residents enjoyed socialising with our young people and staff.
On 16th February shuktara celebrated Saraswati Puja on the roof of Anna Bari. Over the years this has become a tradition at shuktara and everyone is welcome. This festival prepares for the arrival of Spring and is dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, language and all of the arts. Everyone wears bright coloured clothing to celebrate the coming of Spring.
Below are photos and short videos showing this special day at shuktara.
Before Saraswati Puja
Due to increased demand from people who live around shuktara and because of your generous support, last week we increased our distribution to 200 packets of food.
The first 100 bags contained 2kg rice, 1kg potato, 500gm onion, 500gm salt, 250gm dal and 4 eggs. The next 100 bags contained an apple and a banana instead of the eggs.
This will help those unable to work during lockdown, particularly the daily wage earners who have no income and little access to food.
Everyone receives a shuktara ticket to say they have picked up this week’s provision bag and Pappu will continue this distribution throughout the month of May.
Thank You for supporting his initiative to help people in the shuktara neighbourhood during this difficult time.
These guys have lived together in the shuktara family since 2000.
With many of the girls and boys at Anna Bari and Lula Bari needing to be toileted, fed and bathed isolation is not possible.
Be assured every precaution is being taken to keep everyone safe.
#myshuktara #kolkata #AnnaBari #LulaBari #Deaf #DeafFamily #everyonelovessunil
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!
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.
Denise Deering is a long time supporter of shuktara, formerly a trustee of Shuktara Trust UK and a visitor to the shuktara homes.
Recently she made this artwork out of Scrabble pieces for us.
Pappu, chairman of shuktara, decided that the best place for it was Lula Bari, especially as we have a newly painted and decorated home.
It is now on the ground floor in a place chosen by Muniya, but before it went up on the wall Lali explained all the words to Guria and it appears that she expected something to happen as she tapped the glass. Guria loves playing with phones and tablets and was perhaps disappointed to see this one go up on the wall.
Thanks to Denise for her constant support and love.