Tag: Sunil

shuktara - Sunil wearing flag mask

Independence Day at shuktara

On midnight 15th August 1947 India became independent. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Indian Prime Minister said these words “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”

This year marks the 74th Independence Day celebration. All over India people observe this important day with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and cultural events.

At Anna Bari, the shuktara boys home, Pinku returned to join in the celebration. Pinku is now living independently and supporting himself. After raising the flag Pinku set a green kite to fly free, much to the delight of Bappa (see the photos below). Bappa had fun moving his wheelchair in circles (video below). And Sunil, who absolutely loves the Indian flag, wore a mask embellished with the tricolour of saffron, white and green.

Meanwhile at Lula Bari the girls gathered around the flag and sang the Indian National Anthem with Pappu. The video is below – keep watching to see Muniya lift her fist in a salute to Indian independence!

shuktara Founder's Day

21 years of shuktara!

It was in October 1998 that Alison Saracena (our webmistress), Bryan Forst (developer and technical expert) and David Earp (founder of shuktara) left their respective homes in San Francisco and London to head to Kolkata and start something that they had discussed for a long time, working with young people with disabilities.

Nothing quite worked out as they had planned and they started teaching typing and computer skills to youngsters in Alison and Bryan’s flat – this later became Uddami, a computer training centre. At that time they all lived on Southern Avenue in Kolkata.

On the 1st July 1999, David received a call to say there were two young men (Anna and Sunil) who were being moved from child care to adult care in a facility outside Kolkata and people had heard that they wanted to work with young people just like this.

That was the beginning of shuktara and on Wednesday we celebrated 21 years.

shuktara

 

Our celebration had an element of sadness because Anna passed away in October 2018 and we had our 20th anniversary last year, our first without him.

Everyone misses Anna but we cherish our many wonderful memories of him.

We had a low key ceremony for Anna at the boys house, now known as Anna Bari, with a white floral garland draped around his photo and the boys gathered around.

 

shuktara - Raju

 

This year due to lockdown only the staff and shuktara young people celebrated our Founders Day, the boys at Anna Bari and the girls at Lula Bari. As usual everyone enjoyed delicious mutton curry and payesh (Bengali rice-based pudding).

We also celebrated Raju’s birthday on 1st July, the day he chose – as with almost all of our young people, we don’t know his actual day of birth. In the evening David took a Happy Birthday Raju cake to the girls to spend some time at their home on this very special occasion.

shuktara

Sunday Art Class at Anna Bari

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

shuktara gives back

Shuktara distributes 200 food packets

Due to increased demand from people who live around shuktara and because of your generous support, last week we increased our distribution to 200 packets of food.

The first 100 bags contained 2kg rice, 1kg potato, 500gm onion, 500gm salt, 250gm dal and 4 eggs. The next 100 bags contained an apple and a banana instead of the eggs.

This will help those unable to work during lockdown, particularly the daily wage earners who have no income and little access to food.

Everyone receives a shuktara ticket to say they have picked up this week’s provision bag and Pappu will continue this distribution throughout the month of May.

Thank You for supporting his initiative to help people in the shuktara neighbourhood during this difficult time.

shuktara

Shuktara gives back

At shuktara we have enough. We don’t have an abundance of produce, with all our local shops and suppliers closed it is hard to get a lot of what we are used to, but we have enough.

What we have, we have decided to share over the next two days with people in our locality who have nothing. These are daily wage earners, pavement dwellers and families we have been told about who are struggling.

Each bag contains 2kg rice, 1kg potato, 1kg onion, 500gm pulse and 100gm of soya bean.

Our hope is that this will help them a little over the next few days.

shuktara - Sunil 2.6 Challenge

The 2.6 Challenge

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on charities, with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in fundraising income.

In response, the organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events across the UK have come together to create a new campaign to raise vital funds to help to save the UK’s charities.

the 2.6 Challenge - Sunil for shuktara

The 2.6 Challenge will launch on Sunday 26 April – what would have been the date of the 40th London Marathon, the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event. We’ve been lucky to have friends who ran for shuktara to raise funds and awareness of our two homes in Kolkata.

We’re asking you to take part in an activity of your choice based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and fundraise or donate to support Shuktara Trust (UK).

The 2.6 Challenge can be any activity you like – from running 2.6 miles to holding an online workout with 26 of your friends. Check out these ideas for more inspiration.

Whatever your age or ability, you can take part.

How you can participate in the 2.6 Challenge

  1.  Dream  up your 2.6 Challenge

  2.  Create  your fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving or JustGiving by clicking one of the buttons below

  3.  Choose  Shuktara Trust (UK) as your charity

  4.  Ask  all your friends and family to sponsor you

  5.  Complete  your 2.6 challenge!

Another option is to join our 2.6 Challenge for shuktara page

This is a way for you to create a challenge without having your own fundraising page. We’ve created a group 2.6 Challenge for shuktara page in JustGiving. Here’s how you can be a part of this page:

  1.  Dream  up your 2.6 Challenge
  2.  Send  your name, email, description of your challenge and a photo to 2.6challenge4shuktara@shuktara.org – we’ll post your challenge on our fundraising page as an update
  3.  Tell  all your friends and family about your 2.6 Challenge and ask them to sponsor you here: 2.6 Challenge for shuktara
  4.  Complete  your 2.6 challenge! If you send us another photo we’ll post it on our page.

For more information on the 2.6 Challenge watch the video (right) or check out this link twopointsixchallenge.co.uk

Saraswati Puja at shuktara

Saraswati Puja 2020

Saraswati Puja came early this year – the date varies according to the cycle of the moon but typically falls in late January or early February. This year the puja was on Wednesday 29th January and is the first puja of the year celebrating the goddess of wisdom and learning, Saraswati.

At shuktara this occasion is marked by a statue of the goddess Saraswati on the roof of Anna Bari, usually surrounded by bright floral decorations. Everyone dresses up in their best clothes and the young people from both homes gather on the roof to talk, eat kedgeree (a creamy savory rice dish) and, as seen in the video to the right, dance.

Everyone loves Sunil and we all love watching Sunil celebrate by dancing. Happy Saraswati Puja!

shuktara

Weekend in Mandarmani

Last weekend Pappu took the girls from Lula Bari to the seaside resort village of Mandarmani.

This is a good time of the year to visit the beach because the weather is sunny and the monsoon rains have usually finished. Everyone enjoys the beach and the fresh sea air is a welcome change from urban Kolkata.

Sunil went also because no one likes a holiday more than he does.