Tag: Lula Bari

shuktara - Muniya holding a painting

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…

Tamina and Pappu are ready for the painting to start.

Our painters prep the walls.

New colour and the old colour

Painting the stairs progresses

Getting there…

Painting the stairs that go up to the roof

On the roof, painting the walls

Adding the finishing touches

Two weeks later…

Pappu inspects the work

Tamina checking out the newly painted pink walls. Now it’s time to re-hang the pictures!

Gifts from friends

Feeling very grateful for gifts and support for everyone at shuktara!

Our friend Karuna Ezara Parikh and her husband Amitesh had a monsoon clear out of clothes that they no longer wear and one of our neighbours bought a water filter machine for the girls house.

Below are photos from Lula Bari with the girls modeling their new dresses and also Sunil, Bablu and Bappa are proudly showing off their new outfits. Lali is clearly excited about the new water filter at Lula Bari.

Thanks to our Kolkata friends for their generous and thoughtful support!

shuktara - Sunil and Anna

Today shuktara celebrates 20 years!

1999-2019

First day of shuktara 1999 On 1st July 1999 the founder of shuktara, David Earp, agreed to take responsibility for two teenage boys with disabilities, Anna and Sunil.

The idea was to keep the home small and take in children and young people slowly – first boys, then girls. This was only possible due to the dedication and commitment of David (the founder), Pappu (manager, foster father, chairman and so much more) and the other staff, many of whom have been with us from the early years.

To the right is a photo of Anna and Sunil with David. Sadly Anna passed away last year but we hold him in our hearts and have named the boys home Anna Bari in his memory.

Below is an early photo of the boys, and on the right, the first three girls of Lula Bari, the girls home.

This is how shuktara began…

The photo below is shuktara today…

The year when each person became part of the shuktara family is next to their name. We can’t really say that this is a complete picture because just a few days ago someone new came to Anna Bari. We promise to tell you more about him later because now it’s time to celebrate…

20 years of shuktara!

To read more about the history of shuktara click here.

For more about the people of shuktara go to our shuktara family page where you can learn more about each individual.

Puja in front of the newly painted Lula Bari wall

Painting Lula Bari Pink

We’ve only just begun…
As you know our friends at Kolkata International Women’s Club sponsored the painting and decoration of the ground floor of Lula Bari. Photo opposite shows Puja sitting in front of the newly painted pink wall.

Pappu has hired a team who will start work on the roof. This is to make it clean, strong and damp proof before the monsoon hits.

Then they will start painting the stairwell down to the first floor where all the girls sleep. When that is finished they will also paint the stairwell down to the ground floor, including all windows, frames and doors on the first floor itself.

Helena Christensen was very excited by the opportunity to help paint the rest of the house in hot pink, so the continuation of this work is being supported by Helena and Camilla Stærk – through a percentage of sales from their Pawn Shop, STÆRK & CHRISTENSEN.

We’re very grateful to Helena and Camilla to have given this wonderful gift of renovating Lula Bari and will post photos when the work is completed.

shuktara homes for disabled people

Lula Bari goes pink

Kolkata International Women’s Club (KIWC) has been very supportive of the girls in Lula Bari. At the end of March they sponsored the painting of the ground floor of Lula Bari and chose a very shuktara colour – pink!

Members of KIWC Nikita and Caroline came to Lula Bari to see the finished job. We think it looks amazing and really highlights the handmade stitching samplers done by our girls. Thank you KIWC!

“They are my oxygen”

Nandita Ghosh has been working at Lula Bari, shuktara girls home, since 2010. She is a tutor and gives cooking lessons but she is so much more. Referring to the girls of shuktara she said this with a broad smile:

“They are my oxygen!”

Before coming to shuktara Nandita admits she had no experience with handicapped children. Previously she taught cooking, reading and health classes at Shikshamitra (an alternative school in Kolkata). Although she bought books to learn about working with children with disabilities and read extensively – what she ultimately found is that there is “no difference” between the children she taught at Shikshamitra and the girls at Lula Bari.

She talked about the girls’ attempts to learn stitching. At first she thought “they cannot do anything” – especially Guria who has Cerebral Palsy with minimal motor skills. She started out using colors and paper to give an idea of sewing. Then she gave the girls cards with patterns and needle and thread. Within two days they finished their cards and went on to embroider cloth. Now they are all doing amazing stitching – even Guria!

“Actually they need a mother’s love.”

Nandita said that all of the staff love the girls very much and like a mother, it’s important to give moral support and develop good habits and behaviour. She’s seen definite changes in behaviour over the time she’s been in Lula Bari – she talked about how much calmer Tamina is now than when she started.

She has been amazed by how the girls learn everything very quickly, for example they can use Facebook and WhatsApp, something the women caregivers in the home cannot do. She feels if Guria gets proper guidance from her teachers that she will go far.

As a measure of how much the girls like Nandita every day they ask “Will you stay here?”
And when asked what the future holds she says:

“Yes, I’ll be very happy to stay here!”

shuktara - Lula Bari home for disabled girls - photo by Sarah Annay Photography

Spirit of Frida Kahlo at Lula Bari

Last month our photographer friend Sarah Annay came to Lula Bari with her friend Aslyn Beringer to do a Frida Kahlo workshop with the girls. First she explained about Frida Kahlo’s life as an artist who suffered a lot from injuries from an accident. Then she discussed different types of portraits and illustrated these with photos of Frida.

What happened next was quite extraordinary as you can see from the photos below. Thank you Sarah and Aslyn for a fantastic day!