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!
Since April of 2018 Sandeep (our physiotherapist) has been coming to shuktara twice a week. We thought you might like to see how the girls at Lula Bari are doing – check out the photos and short videos below.
Sandeep visits Anna Bari as well for Subhash, Bappa, Aakash and Sumon.
Prity is most comfortable sitting – but Sandeep is trying to get her to stand for longer periods to strengthen her legs.
“Prity is concentrating more now with physio because as she is 18 years old her study at REACH school is over. She has more time to improve herself with the help of the physiotherapist and she is doing well. It will take a long time for Prity to improve her movement.”
Physiotherapy for Guria is all about straightening, stretching, strengthening. She works very hard at her exercises twice a week.
“Guria is trying hard but her disability [means that] most parts of her body don’t act together. His aim is to coordinate Guria’s movement however that will take a long time.”
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!
Sunnie Niklaus is visiting shuktara and that always means exciting activities for the girls. Last Sunday she went to Lula Bari for a "spa day" - let's just let Sunnie tell you about it in her own words...
"Home "spa days" are one of my favorite things. I do them with my young nieces, my roommate, my friends, etc. It’s basically relaxing and catching up with a little nail polish, face masks and probably some glitter mixed in.
A spa day with everyone at Lula Bari seemed like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
There were cleansing face wipes, aloe moisturizer and face massages, epic amounts of sparkly blush and lipstick.
After lunch it was manicures, pedicures, a lipstick color swap and crafting some floral hair accessories.
The afternoon ended as everything should, with pizza. 🙂 All in all, a fantastic girly afternoon at Lula Bari!"
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.
Diwali firework waterfall
Tamina with a sparkler
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!)
Jewellrey gifts from friends in London arrived just in time for the beginning of the Puja season here in Kolkata. This season is similar to Christmas - everyone looks forward to getting new clothes and gifts.
As you can see the recipients of these wonderful gifts were thrilled to receive them.
Although most actual birth dates of the young people at shuktara are unknown we think that birthdays are an important part of someone's identity. At some point after each new person arrives at shuktara they choose their own birthday. These birthdays are remembered and celebrated.
Moni's birthday was 11th September and a celebration complete with birthday cake was held at Lula Bari.
Looks like the girls dressed up in their best frocks for Moni's birthday - maybe because of that beautiful chocolate cake!