Joydeb is our home tutor for Anna Bari and he comes three times a week to teach Aakash, Subhash, Bablu, Sunil, Ramesh and Sumon.
During the two months of lockdown he was not able to come and when he returned Pappu handed him his salary for that period.
Joydeb was shocked and surprised and said that he felt he ought not to take the money, but Pappu told him that everyone is getting salary over lockdown, why not him! And if he wants he can give a donation back to shuktara, or work an extra hour here and there.
Rather than the above suggestions, Joydeb is coming now on Sundays of his own volition and running an art class!
Short videos of the Sunday Art Class
Thanks to your generous donations to shuktara we have been able to fund a tutor for Anna Bari.
He will be working with Aakash (here), Subhash, Bappa, Bablu and Sumon. But already we can’t keep some of the other boys away!
We were able to find Joydeb through Priyanka who is the girls’ tutor at Lula Bari.
He will come to Anna Bari three times a week on the days the boys don’t have physiotherapy.
On Saturday 28th September we celebrated Mahalaya, this is the day that Durga comes to earth and the beginning of the celebration of Durga Puja which starts when her face is unveiled on the 4th October.
28th September is the day that Subhash celebrates his birthday and also a day when visitors come to shuktara with gifts for everyone because of Mahalaya and the forthcoming festival.
This year we had a lot of gifts – clothes, food, umbrellas and blankets and a promise of a water filter machine for Anna Bari. Pappu’s friends Navin and Rajesh filled up a car with food (see photo) enough for both our homes.
When everyone found out that Guria celebrates her birthday the following day, on the 29th September, our guests rushed out to buy cake for her, to be kept in the fridge. So Guria ended up with 3 cakes on Sunday including the one that Pappu had organised for her.
Nobody arrives at shuktara with a date of birth. But everyone has a birthday that they choose or is chosen for them if they are unable to do so.
Thank You to all our friends and supporters here in Kolkata, India and around the world.
Seems to be a lot of shuktara birthdays lately - first Moni on 11th September and just last week Subhash (28th September) and Guria (29th September). Everyone loves celebrating birthdays so much at shuktara, be sure to watch the short videos below of the most recent celebrations!
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:
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between brother and sister. Traditionally sisters tie a "rakhi" (thread or ornamental bracelet) around the right wrist of their brothers.
Every year a few women associated with shuktara go to the boys' home and tie rakhis on all of the boys and young men - as you can see they are absolutely delighted to participate in this celebration of the bond between siblings.
According to Wikipedia this "transformed tradition" also happens outside the shuktara homes:
"Among women and men who are not blood relatives, there is also a transformed tradition of voluntary kin relations, achieved through the tying of rakhi amulets, which have cut across caste and class lines, and Hindu and Muslim divisions."
At the end of April we posted about a new physiotherapist who started coming to shuktara. The twice-weekly sessions are going really well at the boys' house with Aakash, Subhash and Sumon, and at Lula Bari with Prity, Guria and Moni.
Yesterday he took the three boys to RCFC (Rehabilitation Centre For Children) close by here in Behala to see how we can improve their mobility. Next week he is taking the girls.
They made casts for splints and gave us some good ideas on how to improve and assist mobility within our homes. Looking forward to sharing our next trip when we take the girls!