Holi morning was spent with the girls at Lula Bari as our friend Caroline de Penning came and brought gifts for the girls and organic paint from FabIndia and water pistols. Everyone was covered in colour by the end of the morning - take a look!
David, Guria and Pappu in their Team Levi t-shirts, supporting Guria in Kolkata and Levi on his walk in the High Atlas Mountains
Why Levi is is walking to support Guria:
Because this little girl called Guria is disabled and I want to help her have a home because she lived on the streets.
Preparations are happening for Saraswati Puja which will be held here on the roof of our boys home on Wednesday 1st February.
Sunil is helping Jogen by placing old saris around the swan that we have made. A flat marble slab on the swan is ready for the goddess to be placed on. Now we are just waiting for Saraswati!
Saraswati (Sanskrit: सरस्वती, Sarasvatī) is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning (Wikipedia).
Durga Puja is one of the most famous and important festivals in West Bengal. This ten-day Hindu festival celebrates the victory of goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura.
This is a time for everyone, no matter what religion, to dress up in new clothes and go out with family and friends to enjoy the celebration. The young people at shuktara eagerly await this holiday. They love to go out visiting the magnificent pandals that house the Durga sculptures, complete with her lion mount and her ten arms wielding ten weapons.
The boys and girls go out together in two big vehicles over two days. The older boys go out again later on both those nights. This means that Sunil, who absolutely loves the Pujas, gets to go out four times!
We had a visitors at Lula Bari recently, Steven Rose and his partner Tracy.
Steven is the CEO of Choice Support, an organisation that provides support to people with learning disabilities in England. He has worked in the field of disability for over 40 years and he and his organisation have been supporting Guria at Lula Bari for the last eight months or so.
On returning to the UK Steven wrote about his visit to shuktara. This is what he says:
Returning to the work of Shuktara, in more than 40 years of working with disabled people I have never been so impressed with the levels of dedication and commitment I witnessed. Shuktara manage to achieve so much with so little and are literally saving children’s lives.
Click here to read the full post.
September 23rd was Sanjib Shaw's birthday and he decided to share his day with the young people at shuktara.
He brought chicken, Indian sweets, chocolate and cakes as well as one sack of rice!
Pappu Mishra (chairman of shuktara) is really happy when local people develop an interest in shuktara.
Sanjib heard about us when he started visiting our locality.
So we say thank you and Janamdin Mubarek (Happy Birthday) to Sanjib!