Our friend Emma Christmas has visited us at shuktara a couple of times. On both her visits she has made sure that her priority is to spend time with the girls. On Wednesday 22nd March she came with Simon her partner.
They brought lots of things from London and had a great afternoon on this short stopover visit. Emma did a makeup session with the girls. They also brought balloons and cut and paste people to play with. It was a wonderful afternoon and we were all happy to see Emma again. The girls especially love her.
The young people that come to shuktara abandoned, lost or having run away from their families come to us with no paperwork. Often the term "unknown boy" or "unknown girl" is used by the Police, Hospitals or Government agencies dealing with lost children.
The first thing we do at shuktara is give them a name, by enabling them to choose or if they are non verbal showing them signs for different names. They have no birth certificate, no known date of birth, no name and no known place from where they have come apart from having been found alone on the streets.
The Aadhaar card is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. Yesterday Pappu (the chairman of shuktara) along with a team of our staff took the girls who do not have this ID to REACH school where they took digital fingerprints of all 10 fingers and eye retina pattern as well as a photo of the individual.
Yesterday Moni and Prity completed this work and Puja along with Guria will be done next after we enrol them in REACH school where most of our young people have attended either in their Cerebral Palsy, Special Education or Deaf Units.
It is a great achievement as we celebrate International Womens Day 2017 in the knowledge that all the girls and young women who live at Lula Bari our girls home here in Kolkata will have a name, an identity and a home for life. #IWD2017
The stitching and embroidery class continues at Lula Bari, supervised by the girls home tutor, Nandita.
We love watching Guria in her standing frame, working independently. Her concentration is amazing - she is so determined, proud of her work and very happy to be participating in this group activity.
On 9th June we took Prity to Mobility India for the measurement of AFO* and knee gaiters. After she was measured they asked us to come back on 29th June for the trial of these devices which will strengthen her legs so that she can stand unassisted.
She has never been able to stand so to move around either she crawls or a staff member has to carry her. When she was younger (and smaller) this was easy but as she grows it gets harder to lift her.
Prity really liked both assistive devices because now she is able to stand by holding the table or window. We hope that in the future Prity will able to walk with assistance.
*Ankle-foot orthosis: A brace, usually made of plastic, that is worn on the lower leg and foot to support the ankle, hold the foot and ankle in the correct position and correct foot drop. Abbreviated AFO. Also known as foot drop brace.