Tag: Raja Mohan Das

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 - Sanjay, Rubel, Raja

Rubel comes to shuktara

Just a few days before our Founders Day, at the end of June, shuktara Chairman, Pappu, received a phone call from Childline about a young man with cerebral palsy who had been found in North Kolkata unable to explain what he was doing. Because he was also Deaf, the police were informed and Childline held him at one of their night shelters.

Pappu immediately said yes to Rubel and he came to shuktara on 27th June. He does not seem to have any knowledge of sign language and we have not really got very far in knowing his story, because of his lack of communication – but Pappu, the staff at Anna Bari and the shuktara boys are all with him and he seems to be learning and understanding some basic signs. He appears to be a very intelligent young man and we are being gentle with him as he comes to understand his new situation. Currently we have no way of knowing whether he has lost his family, or been abandoned. Not many of us can understand what it must be like to lose or be abandoned by your family. For Rubel add to the mix his confusion, his mild autism and the fact that he’s Deaf and hasn’t learnt sign language yet – and he has cerebral palsy!

Thank God he has met Sanjay, Bapi, Vijay and Raja – who know EXACTLY what he’s going through.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Gifts from London

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.

Special thanks to Patricia Brady for thinking of shuktara and to Cecile Tiano for the wonderful jewellery and for your generosity in passing it along.

Shuktara Documentary Interview video - Belinda, Ashok and Lali

Belinda speaks about shuktara

Belinda Carlisle has been a longtime supporter of shuktara and she is a frequent visitor to both homes in Kolkata. While in Atlanta she kindly gave some of her time to Yep! Films International and talked about her experiences with shuktara.

To help support the new shuktara documentary click here:

www.gofundme.com/shuktarafilm

shuktara attend Sanjib's wedding

Sanjib Shaw marries and shuktara is invited!

We have been very lucky at shuktara to have met Sanjib Shaw. For the last few years he has been a generous and committed supporter of our homes and this weekend he got married to Nandini.

Over the three days of wedding celebrations all of the shuktara girls, boys and young people have been invited and involved. Yesterday evening (26th February) everyone at shuktara attended the wedding reception.

We thank Sanjib for all his support and wish him and Nandini much love and happiness together.

2018 Saraswati Puja at shuktara

Saraswati Puja on the roof

Every year Saraswati Puja is celebrated on the roof of the shuktara boys' home. All of the young people at shuktara eagerly anticipate wearing new clothes and having kedgeree and prasad. Friends and family are invited to this puja and as you can see, there is always quite a crowd of people having a wonderful time.

shuktara home for young adults with disability - 2017 February - Raja is given a photo of his daughter, Oindrila

Raja has a daughter, Oindrila

Pappu had not wanted to tell anyone our news about Raja until he felt that the time was right. He feels now that everyone ought to know that he got married!

In February 2014 he married a deaf girl called Riya and they now have a daughter, Oindrila who was born on 28th August 2015.

Raja and his family live independently as do Kedar and Sanjay. Every day Raja stops by to visit us and continues to do his painting in the shuktara boy’s house.

about Raja...

photo by Sarah Annay