Tag: Lula Bari

shuktara - Sunil wearing flag mask

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!

shuktara - Guria at Lula Bari

Laughing through lockdown

In West Bengal to try to slow the spread of the virus we now have two days of complete lockdown each week. For many of our young people with physical disabilities lockdown is not very different as most days are spent at home in Lula Bari (our girls home) or Anna Bari (our home for boys). 

For example Guria has physiotherapy every week at home and she seems quite delighted with her routine. Who knew physio could be so much fun? In fact the other girls in the house can’t help but watch as Guria laughs through her whole session with Sandip our physiotherapist. 

Some things have changed, like the way our young people study. Before the pandemic the girls who attend REACH school would get ready, climb in the shuktara vehicle and go to school. These days everyone in the world is doing school remotely. Now Guria is helped to get ready for school wearing her uniform, Pappu turns on the laptop and connects her with her teacher online.

Sometimes what seems like an obstacle for some people has the potential to be a new and exciting experience for others – as you can see from the photos Guria enjoys her online classes immensely!

shuktara

Shuktara gives back

At shuktara we have enough. We don’t have an abundance of produce, with all our local shops and suppliers closed it is hard to get a lot of what we are used to, but we have enough.

What we have, we have decided to share over the next two days with people in our locality who have nothing. These are daily wage earners, pavement dwellers and families we have been told about who are struggling.

Each bag contains 2kg rice, 1kg potato, 1kg onion, 500gm pulse and 100gm of soya bean.

Our hope is that this will help them a little over the next few days.

shuktara homes

Kate Barton visits shuktara

On Saturday morning 23rd November our friend Kate Barton landed in Kolkata.

She spent 24 hours at shuktara and it was a wonderful day.

Most importantly Kate spent the afternoon at Lula Bari – named in memory of her friend Lula Gibson.

She made some great heart connections in both Lula Bari and Anna Bari, our boys home and in the evening she returned again to see the girls with a delivery of pizza that she organised for everyone at shuktara.

shuktara

Weekend in Mandarmani

Last weekend Pappu took the girls from Lula Bari to the seaside resort village of Mandarmani.

This is a good time of the year to visit the beach because the weather is sunny and the monsoon rains have usually finished. Everyone enjoys the beach and the fresh sea air is a welcome change from urban Kolkata.

Sunil went also because no one likes a holiday more than he does.

shuktara - Muniya, Prity and Puja Bagh

Lula Bari goes to Mandarmani

There was a lot of excitement yesterday evening at Lula Bari.

The girls had just received a bundle of winter clothes from a local supporter and were frantically choosing which outfits to pack for a short two-day trip. Moni was busy in the next room catching up on some last minute homework with Priyanka. A neighbour was celebrating his son’s first birthday by delivering food packets to everyone.

Prity wanted everyone to see this photo of her and Puja (on right). It’s not often we are able to capture Puja because of her stimming, but in this moment, Prity asked us to click quickly!

After the madness of last night this morning Pappu and the girls are happily on their way to Mandarmani for a beach weekend.

shuktara - Diwali

Happy Diwali!

For 20 years now we’ve been celebrating Diwali on the roof of shuktara. Diwali is celebrated with fireworks and crackers all across India. In Kolkata Kali Puja signifies the end of the puja season and usually takes place the night after Diwali. This year both festivals were on the same night so everyone set off their fireworks together.

Sunil loves pujas but this is perhaps his very favourite one because it involves extremely loud noises he is able to hear despite being profoundly deaf. Pappu took him to choose the fireworks and the choices were overwhelming – just take a look at this shop selling only fireworks (below).

Last Sunday (27th October) at dusk small clay containers were filled with oil and a wick and placed all around both homes. As darkness fell the lamps were lit and the feeling was absolutely magical.

Then the firework show began with rockets, pinwheels, fountains and sparklers. All over the city colourful lights and sounds continued for most of the night.

Happy Diwali from all of us at shuktara!

shuktara - lamps on Diwali
shuktara - Scrabble gift

Denise Deering’s gift to shuktara

Denise Deering is a long time supporter of shuktara, formerly a trustee of Shuktara Trust UK and a visitor to the shuktara homes.
Recently she made this artwork out of Scrabble pieces for us.

Pappu, chairman of shuktara, decided that the best place for it was Lula Bari, especially as we have a newly painted and decorated home.

It is now on the ground floor in a place chosen by Muniya, but before it went up on the wall Lali explained all the words to Guria and it appears that she expected something to happen as she tapped the glass. Guria loves playing with phones and tablets and was perhaps disappointed to see this one go up on the wall.

Thanks to Denise for her constant support and love.