Kolkata: After working with inmates of correctional homes in staging Tagore’s dance drama “Valmiki Pratibha” and other plays, celebrated danseuse-activist Alakananda Roy is now set to focus on trafficked women in “Bhanusingher Padabali” very soon.
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had shown enthusiasm for this project two months back and now I will take it up very soon,” Alakananda told PTI. “I will involve girls from state-run homes like ‘Sukanya’ and Liluah Home’ as it will be done with help from the state government. Training and choosing girls from state homes, conducting workshops and taking them from one venue to another will become easy organisationally,” she said.
She said, staging “Bhanu Singher Padabali”- a collection of Vaishnava lyrics in ‘Brajabuli’- was her long time wish. Alakananda said she will also discuss with the CM a “unique concept” of including both prisoners and rehabilitated ex-prisoners in another Tagorean work “Karno Kunti Sangbad”.
In this project, she said, the inmates will be able to identify with the character of Karna in Mahabharata “who had been misunderstood thoroughly”. “I hope to get their (government’s) consent for this unique concept as well,” she pointed out stating that society must change it’s mindset towards these people, “who often don’t get guarantors for any start-ups after coming out of jail”.
“I have entered into a discussion with an organization ‘Argobbhawya’, which has started providing financial back-ups to economically distressed people with potential, since they (prisoners) find it hard to sustain after their release due to the social stigma. They can’t even buy a ‘Toto’ (mechanised rickshaw) or ice crushing machine as it is difficult for them to get funds,” she said.
“Everyone deserves a second chance if not a third one and apart from Nigel Akkara, who had enacted the role of bandit Ratnakar in ‘Valmiki Pratibha’ and film ‘Muktodhara’, there have been others like a chef in a well-known Bengali speciality restaurant who has found a new lease of life after serving jail terms and an entrepreneur who has set up a start-up after release from jail employing some other ex-convicts.”
Alakananda had also staged “Mokshagati”, based on the life of Emperor Ashoka, with the inmates of two correctional homes.