Tag: Bapi

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
shuktara - Bablu Lal and Rahul

Meet Rahul, Pappu’s new assistant

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.

shuktara - Scrabble gift

Denise Deering’s gift to shuktara

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.

shuktara

Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma is considered to be the divine architect and creator of the world. On this day workers ask him to bless their tools (from a simple hammer to a more complex machine like a computer) and give them safe working conditions, success in their work and a better future.

At shuktara this is usually a small celebration however this year Sunil decided that the statue representing Vishwakarma could be bigger. You can see Sunil in the first video below joyfully banging with a pair of scissors during the ceremony to honour Vishwakarma.

shuktara - Bapi taking a bath on the roof in the monsoon

Monsoon rains finally come to Kolkata

Usually by 10th June monsoon rains have started in Kolkata. This year the beginning of monsoon was delayed and the rains only really began a few days ago.

The boys at Anna Bari took full advantage of the cooling rain to bathe, dance and play on the roof in the downpour. The videos of Bapi dancing and Sunil “swimming” show the joy everyone feels now that the monsoon has finally arrived.

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 homes for young people with disabilities

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights, celebrated in autumn. This is one of the most popular festivals in India which symbolizes the "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance."

This is a favorite night at the shuktara homes as everyone helps with lighting up the house and setting off fireworks.

This year our celebration was a bit more subdued as we all remembered Anna and lit candles not only for the festival, but also for him.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Getting ready for Kali

In West Bengal we are very lucky because we celebrate two festivals of light - first Kali Puja (dedicated to the goddess of Kolkata, Kali) and on the following night, Diwali (Hindu New Year).

On both nights pradeep (shallow clay vessels with oil) and candles are placed all around the house. The short videos and photos below show preparations for lighting up the house on Kali Puja.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Shuktara holiday in Mandarmani

Last weekend everyone at shuktara went on a seaside holiday to Mandarmani. Many thanks to Sanjib who made this wonderful event happen!