Tag: Sunil

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Shuktara documentary update

In October Phoebe Brown and the film crew from Atlanta will be headed back to Kolkata to continue shooting the new documentary. From Phoebe's GoFundMe page:

"As I've been working on this edit - I had the chance to pull up some great field photos and was reminded again (as if I needed reminding!) how special everyone at shuktara is. I want to give a special shout out to Pappu - whose spirit just shines in these images. Not only is he just a genuinely wonderful human being, but he puts up with our 1 million questions, translates both Bengali and sign language, helps us lug gear, gets us places we need to go....all while making sure the day to day of running shuktara is smooth. I hate that we have to work you overtime when we visit but I can't wait to do it again!"

Pappu is an extraordinary and inspiring person - his deep commitment to shuktara is obvious in these photos. To see the latest news about the documentary or to help support this amazing film please click here:

www.gofundme.com/shuktarafilm

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Raksha Bandan at shuktara

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."

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Happy Independence Day from shuktara!

Independence Day is usually celebrating around India by raising the flag and tossing marigold petals. Shuktara is no exception and holds their annual Independence Day celebration on the roof of the boys' home.

Sunil loves all celebrations but this one is especially loved because he absolutely adores the Indian flag. Most of our photos over the years show Sunil saluting the flag he loves.

Happy Independence Day from everyone at shuktara!

(all photos by Raju Das)

shuktara homes - 2018 August - Rabia with Sunil and Ashok at shuktara

Goodbye Rabia

shuktara homes - 2018 August - Rabia with Sunil and Ashok at shuktaraAll of us at shuktara are devastated by the loss of Rabia who died so suddenly on Monday.
Rabia was one of the first students in a small group that Bryan and Alison taught typing and computer skills to in 1999. Those small classes would become known as Uddami and they moved to Anwar Shah Road. Her skills in leadership developed and her role became pivotal in the success of the students that she herself started teaching.

Those early classes were held in a room adjacent to the original shuktara boys house where Rabia struck up such a wonderful loving friendship with Sunil and later with Ashok - (both pictured here).
Coming as often as she could to the celebrations we hold at our homes, she was a face known and loved by all the staff as well as the whole shuktara family with whom she was so gentle with.
Rabia was instrumental in helping out with computer classes for the Deaf community here in Kolkata which also included some of our young people.

We are all heartbroken at losing her.
We will miss her immeasurably.
And our annual Saraswati Puja will never be the same again.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Sunil and his chariot

Sunil is a fan of all festivals in India but Rath Yatra* is one of his favorites. Every year he celebrates with a miniature version of the three huge chariots used in the main celebration in Puri (on the Bay of Bengal south of Kolkata).

This festival is also celebrated in Kolkata and for a week you will see pop-up stands selling small replicas of the chariots used to carry Lord Jagannath and his entourage. Pulling the chariot is considered an auspicious deed - for all the years that Sunil has pulled his chariot we expect he has accumulated a lot of good karma.

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

*Wikipedia: Ratha Yatra or Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival is a Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India.

19 years of shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Take two – shuktara Founder’s Day celebration

Our "19 years of shuktara" celebration was so much fun that we wanted to show you just a few more photos.

As you can see we went all out on decorating - the shuktara roof was filled with scented white jasmine and brightly coloured jamdani saris but the pièce de résistance was definitely THE JASMINE THRONE!

Emily (our Rose Queen) and her mum Rachel are finishing up their trip to Kolkata and we are so happy they were able to join in our Founder's Day activities.

Getting ready for big event…

Celebrating 19 years of shuktara!

19 years of shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

19 years of shuktara!

On 1 July 1999 shuktara started with just two boys, Anna and Sunil. Our story began in a rented flat on Southern Avenue and then moved to rented houses in Jubilee Park and then Kudghat.

Today there are two homes in Behala, owned by shuktara, where 23 young people live. Ages range from teenagers to young men in their 30s. Coming from institutions or lonely lives without family, shuktara provides everything needed for a healthy, happy and perhaps most important, safe life.

Join with all of us in celebrating 19 years of shuktara - founder David Earp, Pappu (chairman of shuktara in India, guardian, advocate and friend), carers and maashis, and of course all of the young people who have a home for life filled with love and laughter. Thank you for your support, all of this is possible because of you!

shuktara homes for young people with disabilities

Shuktara holiday in Mandarmani

Last weekend everyone at shuktara went on a seaside holiday to Mandarmani. Many thanks to Sanjib who made this wonderful event happen!