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.
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.
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.
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
Dancing at Lula Bari
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.
Dance Class with Dev at Lula Bari video
Independence Day at shuktara
On midnight 15th August 1947 India became independent. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Indian Prime Minister said these words “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”
This year marks the 74th Independence Day celebration. All over India people observe this important day with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events.
At Anna Bari, the shuktara boys home, Pinku returned to join in the celebration. Pinku is now living independently and supporting himself. After raising the flag Pinku set a green kite to fly free, much to the delight of Bappa (see the photos below). Bappa had fun moving his wheelchair in circles (video below). And Sunil, who absolutely loves the Indian flag, wore a mask embellished with the tricolour of saffron, white and green.
Meanwhile at Lula Bari the girls gathered around the flag and sang the Indian National Anthem with Pappu. The video is below – keep watching to see Muniya lift her fist in a salute to Indian independence!
Girls sing the National Anthem
Happy Independence Day!
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:
Swift Code: PUNBINBBDCA
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
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.
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!
Our New Pink Lula Bari
Lula Bari painting completed!
It took us exactly two weeks to paint Lula Bari pink.
As you know the Kolkata International Women’s Club who support our girls sponsored the painting and decoration of the ground floor.
We then decided to paint all the way up to the roof and this has been sponsored by Helena Christensen and Camilla Staerk through their Pawn Shop.
Thank You for your interest in the progress of this work and your support of Lula Bari and everyone at shuktara.
We look forward to sharing more stories and photos as the girls and young women who live at Lula Bari move back upstairs.
It all started with choosing the right pink…