Tag: boys

two young men with pink and green paint on their faces

April news from shuktara

two young men with pink and green paint on their smiling faces

I was 65 on 20th January and had just got back to Kolkata in time to celebrate with everyone on the roof of Anna Bari. I told Pappu that I thought this year to just get a few decorations, but not to go over the top with flowers. Of course, when I walked into Anna Bari in the morning they had strewn rose petals on the stairs leading up to the roof and everyone from both the boys home and Lula Bari were sitting up there waiting for me.

man looking at huge flower garlands holding the hand of a young disabled guy

I was 40 when I started shuktara with Anna and Sunil on 1st July 1999 and this year as we prepare to celebrate 25 years of shuktara I remembered that Pappu is now the same age as I was back then. This made me realise how quickly time goes and how magical these times and ages and dates are.

Soon after my birthday, Pappu took all of the girls from Lula Bari and the staff in a bus to the North of Bengal where they stayed by a large water body, took picnics and enjoyed some local dance performances.

Since our last newsletter we have had a number of one-off donations for which we are really grateful. Also two supporters have signed up to donate monthly. The worries of the trustees in the UK have momentarily subsided and this is an encouraging start to helping us sort our shortfall.

We have also been given an amazing opportunity to double donations from now until the end of June.

One of our longstanding supporters has just written to us to let us know how concerned they have become at the increasing shortfall between the amount of money needed to keep our homes running and the amount we receive in regular giving. They have offered to double every donation that shuktara receives by the end of June up to to a maximum of £15,000. If any of you are considering either a one-off or regular monthly donation, this is a brilliant opportunity to make your money go further and – if successful – will go a long way to helping us repair our finances.

If you are interested in making every pound you give turn into £2 for shuktara’s young adults, please don’t hesitate to donate by 1st July, shuktara’s 25th anniversary

We have recently had a few visitors who have stopped by on their travels. It was wonderful to see Mike Gibson who came with his partner Emma and 4 other friends after they had visited the Andaman Islands. Mike and his core group of friends managed to raise enough funds for us to purchase our girls home Lula Bari, in memory of Mike’s wife Lula who died in 2012.


Nigel Rogers and his sister Shirley also spent a memorable afternoon visiting both homes. We appreciate when supporters who have donated for specific things are able to visit and see where their money was used.
Please remember that up until the end of June your donations will be doubled and thank you for your continued support of shuktara.

David Earp

Young disabled woman in brightly coloured sari on a bright blue mat next to a young man lying on a yellow pillow on a pink mat

Saraswati Puja 2024

On the 14th February we celebrated Saraswati Puja at Anna Bari.

Puja Basak and Prity give puja wishes
Bablu Lal and Moni
Aarti Blessings before immersion of the Goddess
girls playing with colours on Holi

Shubho Dol Purnima

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.

disabled girls sitting on the floor with dance teacher

Shuktara news from David

We celebrated Holi on Friday, 18th March, which is always looked forward to and enjoyed by everyone.
Our Dance Tutor Dev Ambuly (see photo above) came over especially to visit the two homes and as you can see, our new Puja is thoroughly enjoying herself in her new surroundings at Lula Bari.

The initial group of shuktara residents who received their first vaccine have now received their second and everyone who lives and works at shuktara continues to be well.
You may remember that Pappu chose the group who spend more time outside the homes to be vaccinated, in the hope it would protect them, their families and the more vulnerable ones that are in Lula Bari and Anna Bari. This seems to have worked and as I said – everyone is and has always stayed well.

Celebrating Holi at Anna Bari
Puja Basak and Lali

Our hopes and dreams of the Shuktara Cakes Café are happening slowly, with teams here and in Kolkata working to make sure everything is done properly, legally and safely.
Pappu will be working with a consultant who has already set up three cafes in Kolkata. They will prepare a thoroughly costed business plan and budget so the Shuktara Trust UK trustees can ensure the cafe can operate cost effectively both in the short and long term.

I really appreciate all the support you have shown since 1999 and now that things are safer the UK trustees and I will be able to get together soon to discuss fundraising strategies to continue supporting the homes, ensuring that they have more than sufficient funds for shuktara’s annual running costs and get the Shuktara Cakes Cafe off the ground.

Of course, any of you that wish to run marathons or help us in any way – please get in touch!!!!!!!!!

My very best wishes

David Earp


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 - Pappu and Ashok

Donations to shuktara, Kolkata

On Tuesday 27th of August 2019, Pappu (chairman of shuktara in India) received the news that shuktara, Kolkata now has permission to receive donations electronically from outside India. 

This is the news we have all been eagerly awaiting for the last four years.

We have managed to keep both our homes running and we have been able to do everything we wanted to do over the last years, but are now looking forward to being able to do so much more for the future of the young women at Lula Bari and everyone at Anna Bari, our boys home.

Thank you all for sticking with us, supporting us and helping us out when we needed it most.

If you now wish to donate directly to shuktara, Kolkata please use the details here:

IFC Code: PUNB0008500
Account Name: shuktara
Account No.: 3187000100080165
Bank Name: Punjab National Bank
Branch Name: Kolkata Ballygunge
Branch Address: 18/1 Gariahat Road, Kolkata 700019, West Bengal, India

shuktara - Pappu and Ashok
Nagendra Mishra (Pappu) with Ashok who was the first to hear our good news!

Our general running costs, staff salaries and expenses including school and tuition fees will still continue to be paid quarterly by Shuktara Trust UK.

If you live in the UK and pay tax then donating through Shuktara Trust UK is the very best way to donate. If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by 25%, because the charity can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift – at no extra cost to you.

shuktara - Raksha Bandhan

Independence Day / Raksha Bandhan

As far as we remember, this never happened until this year – Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan are both today, 15th August.

Lula Bari girls celebrated Independence Day by raising the flag on their new pink roof while the boys (led by Sunil of course) also raised the Indian flag.

Then as Raksha Bandhan is a celebration of any brother-sister like relationship everyone exchanged rakhi, the beautiful bracelets that are given to sisters and brothers to show your love and respect.

Definitely a day of devotion for everyone at shuktara – to India and to each other!