Tag: David Earp

Three young women in white saris with red border dancing

Happy holidays from shuktara!

Message from Nagendra Kumar Mishra (Pappu), Chairman of shuktara in India

Thank you very much for supporting shuktara!

Message from David Earp, founder of shuktara

It is wonderful from where I am sitting today (having not been back to India since the end of covid restrictions) to watch Pappu really step up and turn shuktara into something that is his dream. Continuing and fulfilling my dreams and wishes for everything that I hoped for during the 20 odd years that I was in Kolkata. And actually so much more!

I remember being confined at home for two months during the Indian lockdown. Pappu had thought something would happen and therefore put many things in motion to ensure that everybody at shuktara had enough to eat and enough medical supplies to last.

I know many of you were touched when he decided to share the food that we had gathered with those in our community who had nothing and who had no way of getting anything.

You may also be aware that in the last months Pappu has been told about villages many hours’ drive outside of Kolkata on the border of Bihar. These villages are so far off the beaten track that few people visit them, let alone health care professionals or doctors. After his first visit to this area he met many families who are looking after and caring for their disabled children. He has now put into place a group of people including shuktara’s physiotherapist, as well as two young Deaf women who will be able to oversee this outreach for him.

On a personal level I feel a great pride watching Pappu grow – and his wish to share more of what the young people at shuktara have with families that in comparison have nothing.

Thank You for your support
David Earp – founder shuktara

Message from Adam Thompson, Chairman of Shuktara Trust UK

From David’s first days above the beauty parlour on Southern Avenue with Anna and Sunil to our two homes in Kolkata today, Shuktara has always helped those who had nowhere else to turn. Over the past year Pappu’s amazing Shuktara Outreach programme  has built on this legacy to help families coping with disability in some of the poorest parts of remote, rural West Bengal. The programme is already having a profoundly life-changing impact for these families.

We’re incredibly excited to announce that a donor has agreed to double any donation given to Shuktara up to the total £30,000 cost to run the Outreach programme for 3 years.
If you remember to add Gift Aid, these matching funds mean that for every £10 you donate, Shuktara will actually receive £25!
Click here to donate

As always, a huge thank you from all the Shuktara family for your amazing generosity over the past year and best wishes for a brilliant holiday-break with friends and family.

Adam Thompson – Chairman Shuktara Trust UK

young woman lighting candles on the floor
shuktara celebrates Dol


Everyone in India celebrates the coming of spring with the festival of Holi, called Dol in West Bengal (Bengali: দোল পূর্ণিমা ‘Dol Purnimā’).  The celebration last Sunday involved a rainbow of colours and gave a chance for both shuktara homes to interact with people in the community.

Only on this day are young people allowed to be a little cheeky with older people by gently rubbing powdered colour on their faces. As you can see it’s a delightful celebration and no one can resist smiling.



Jagadhatri Puja

Because Durga Puja was a quiet affair this year and none of the shuktara young people were able to leave their homes, Pappu decided to celebate Jagadhatri Puja at Anna Bari on Monday 23rd November. We held it on the ground floor, at the side of the house, using our garage as a place to keep the Goddess in an open space and accessible for all. This meant that we were able to conduct the puja with different groups of people from our community coming in during the day at different times.

And for the afternoon and evening session the girls came over from Lula Bari.

To see videos of Jagadhatri Puja please click here.

shuktara Founder's Day 2019 - David and Sunil holding a photo of Anna

1st July 2019 shuktara Founder’s Day

On the 1st July everyone at shuktara celebrated our Founder’s Day, commemorating the day that Anna and Sunil came on the 1st July 1999. Twenty years of shuktara is definitely something to celebrate. A dedicated team spent several days decorating the roof with draped vintage saris and jasmine garlands. There was a swing version of the Jasmine Throne, which is starting to be a serious shuktara tradition.

All afternoon and into the early evening a Hindustani music group played. A phuchka wallah was at the entrance of Anna Bari offering everyone what is surely the favorite Bengali snack. For those of you unfamiliar with phuchka they consist of a round light crunchy exterior filled with boiled potato mash, onion, green chillies, boiled Bengal gram or white peas, chaat masala, cumin powder, rock salt, chili powder, a squeeze of lime, fresh coriander, and tamarind puree.

Between the phuchka and the beautiful music most people sat downstairs and it was really lovely. The music was divine and had the most wonderful calming effect on everyone.

So many people congratulated us on 20 years and we thank you for your words of support and encouragement. We’re all looking forward to the next 20 years of shuktara!

Click here for more videos of our shuktara Founder’s Day…

shuktara - 2016-03-30 - David and Ashok

David and Ashok

When David Earp, who founded shuktara, visited New York in 2009 at the invitation of Christina Kim from dosa he met the photographer Mary Ellen Mark who asked him numerous questions particularly about Ashok and how he would survive in the India that she knew and loved.

Now Ashok is working full time at Shuktara Cakes and here he is with David in front of a poster from dosa celebrating Mary Ellen's life.

Read more about Ashok...