For the first time we had to delay our celebration because of storms. Below are some photos of the girls lighting candles for the festival at Lula Bari.
Thank you to Dev Ambuly our amazing dance teacher for his work at shuktara and to the team at RJ Photography & Films for shooting this video for our puja celebrations.
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!
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
Everyone at shuktara continues to stay well with new restrictions coming into force.
On the 1st January we celebrated Sumon’s birthday as well as a new year and on the 3rd everyone got together at Anna Bari for lunch.
Happy New Year from everyone at shuktara!
Vishwakarma Puja – 17th September
As the holiday season in the West begins, in India the festival season began with Vishwakarma Puja back in September. Vishwakarma Puja was held in the Shuktara Cakes Bakery space which is now on the ground floor of Anna Bari.
Durga Puja – October
Durga Puja is the main festival, but due to Coronavirus restrictions the only outings made were by the Shuktara Cakes team who were selling patisserie at a local Puja.
Diwali / Kali Puja – 4th November
Jagadhatri Puja – 12th – 13th November
Following Durga Puja we celebrated Diwali and Kali Puja and ended our festivities with Jagadhatri Puja held on the 12th and 13th of November outside Anna Bari, where everyone from both homes attended and the local residents enjoyed socialising with our young people and staff.
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
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.
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.