Tag: Lali

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Happy Diwali!

Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights, celebrated in autumn. This is one of the most popular festivals in India which symbolizes the "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance."

This is a favorite night at the shuktara homes as everyone helps with lighting up the house and setting off fireworks.

This year our celebration was a bit more subdued as we all remembered Anna and lit candles not only for the festival, but also for him.

Bijoya – farewell to Durga

After the goddess Durga's five day sojourn (celebrated as Durga Puja) she returns with her four children (Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh) to her abode in Kailash. On this day, Bijoya, the clay images of the goddess are taken from the pandals and immersed in rivers, lakes and ponds throughout West Bengal.

Lali and Tamina accompanied David and Pappu to our local house Puja where the immersion of the goddess took place.

(all photos by Raegan Hodge)

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Durga Puja – visiting the pandals

If you follow shuktara you know that Durga Puja is the biggest festival of the year in Kolkata. All over the city elaborate handmade pandals are created to house clay statues of the goddess Durga and her family who come down once a year from their heavenly abode for a five day holiday.

This year the young people of shuktara visited the pandals on the 1st day of Pujas which was Shashti and 3rd day which was Ashtami. Everyone dressed up in their new clothes, piled in the cars and went pandal-hopping.

(thank you Raegan Hodge for all the fabulous photos!)

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

New clothes continued…

New clothes at Lula Bari continued...

The young women at Lula Bari had such fun dressing up and modeling their new outfits donated by Mustard Seeds that we couldn't resist posting a second batch of photos, of course) with a few more new-to-us clothes.

Thank you again Maura Hurley for picking out exactly the right outfits for everyone at Lula Bari!

New clothes at Lula Bari

Maura Hurley is a longtime friend of shuktara who runs Mustard Seeds, a wonderful Kolkata organisation dedicated to art, the environment and education. Every year they undertake a local used clothing drive and distribute the clothes to local organisations. This year shuktara was one of the fortunate beneficiaries!

Everyone loves new clothes and as you can see in the photos, our girls had a great time trying on and modelling their gifts. Thank you Maura Hurley for the fabulous new-to-us clothes, just in time for Pujas!

Shuktara Documentary Interview video - Belinda, Ashok and Lali

Belinda speaks about shuktara

Belinda Carlisle has been a longtime supporter of shuktara and she is a frequent visitor to both homes in Kolkata. While in Atlanta she kindly gave some of her time to Yep! Films International and talked about her experiences with shuktara.

To help support the new shuktara documentary click here:

www.gofundme.com/shuktarafilm

Learning to cook at Lula Bari

We like to encourage self-sufficiency at shuktara so a cooking class was arranged by the maashis for the girls at Lula Bari. Everyone has to start at the beginning so you can see that they were taught simple tasks like slicing tomatoes and potatoes.

Practice makes perfect as Lali demonstrates in the video below as she uses the traditional vegetable cutter on tomatoes.

We're looking forward to their first chicken curry but that may take a bit more time...

19 years of shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Take two – shuktara Founder’s Day celebration

Our "19 years of shuktara" celebration was so much fun that we wanted to show you just a few more photos.

As you can see we went all out on decorating - the shuktara roof was filled with scented white jasmine and brightly coloured jamdani saris but the pièce de résistance was definitely THE JASMINE THRONE!

Emily (our Rose Queen) and her mum Rachel are finishing up their trip to Kolkata and we are so happy they were able to join in our Founder's Day activities.

Getting ready for big event…

Celebrating 19 years of shuktara!