On the 14th February we celebrated Saraswati Puja at Anna Bari.
One of our supporters donated money for the Lula Bari girls, young women and staff to go away for a Winter picnic trip.
Pappu decided to hire a bus and he took them all to Purulia District where Shuktara operates an outreach programme.
This meant that Pappu was able to check up on things there and for everyone to have two nights away from Kolkata.
Pappu organised a dance performance on one evening and the next day they had a lakeside picnic.
On the return to Kolkata they turned up the music and switched the disco lights on in the bus and all returned home safely.
That’s Guria on the right, clearly enjoying herself. The disco bus was a great idea – see the videos below!
Every year Lula Bari takes a holiday to Mandarmani to relax by the sea. They travelled by bus, left 2nd June and stayed for three days.
It’s clear from the photos below that everyone really enjoyed themselves.
Earlier in March we celebrated Lali’s birthday with a delicious cake. We thought you might also like to see more of the latest photos from our girls home, Lula Bari. To learn more about any of the young women living in Lula Bari please go to our Shuktara Family page. Clicking on any person’s photo will take you to a short bio and photo gallery.
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.
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.
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
This is what our friend and dance teacher, Dev Ambuly, has been doing at Lula Bari during weekly dance class, working with the young people now for less than a year.
The film is made by RJ Dutta Ranjit.