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Here’s how erstwhile beauty queen Alokananda Roy is reforming the life of convicts in Kolkata

Roy works with convicts to reform them through a unique way

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Aloknanda Roy, Image Source: YouTube.com
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  • Alokananda Roy has been using arts as a tool to create hope for prisoners
  • Nigel Akkara, once a dreaded convict is now an established film actor and a businessman with the help of Ms. Alokananda Roy
  • She has also set up a school within the compound of the Correction Home

You might have heard that famous tale of reformation – the one in which a dreaded dacoit Ratnakar changed into Saint Valmiki-the man who later went on to pen the great epic, ‘Ramayana!’

Well, that was a single case of such transformation. Now meet Ms. Aloknanda Roy, the woman who is credited with transforming many Ratnakars into Valmikis.

She has a number of achievements in her kitty. Roy is a classical dancer, a dance educationist, a choreographer and a social worker. In addition she has also been conferred with a number of awards-Sanskrit Parishad Award, a gold medal from Shri Shikshayatan College. She was also Miss India’s first runner up in 1969 and is trained in classical ballet Russian style from Calcutta School of Music as well.

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A person with these many honorary awards can only be imagined sipping tea in a posh garden but instead she works with convicts to reform men and women who are serving their term in prison for committing heinous crimes. In a Presidency Correctional Home in Kolkata, far from the comfortable life she could have opted for, Roy has been using arts as a tool to paint hope for prisoners who are thoroughly demotivated and are oblivious to the the outside world.

Dance, music and drama have been her weapons since years to prove to the world that even the ones confined have a real chance at leading a better life by shedding the cloak of their past. Don’t mistake this as yet another dream that’s far fetched to achieve, she has done it before and she’s set to do it again.

Nigel akkara Image Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Nigel Akkara
Image Source: The Times of India

Narender Singh and his troupe of other inmates last year took the whole stage by storm with their heartfelt performance. A performance so intense that it called for a standing ovation from the audience, which consisted of policemen!

Nigel Akkara, once a dreaded convict is now an established film actor and a businessman with the help of Ms. Alokananda Roy. She has a whole cast made of convicts and she expects each of them to follow the same suit.

“Sure they have committed crimes that need to be punished, but if they wish to change, they should be given a fair opportunity,” urges the passionate teacher, who is in her sixties.”

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According to an article in thebetterindia.com, it all started back in 2007 when Roy first stepped inside a Correction home in Alipur jail where she was invited as a chief guest to celebrate women’s day. She noticed a lot of inmates walking aimlessly like ghosts of a shadow, existing but not living. She realized that they had nothing to wake up to, no aims, no goals, nothing. And that’s when she decided that she’ll bring a change.

“That visit liberated my mind. I was expecting dark, unlit corridors leading to strong metal doors. Instead, as I entered, I saw a nice open space, with some greenery. After the day’s programme, some women inmates asked me if I could teach them dance and I decided to take it on,” she recalls.

 

Heartfelt school. Image source: http://www.thebetterindia.com/58114/alokananada-roy-convicts-art-theatre-dance-reform/
Heartfelt school. Image source: http://www.thebetterindia.com/58114/alokananada-roy-convicts-art-theatre-dance-reform/

Consequently about a year ago Roy established a school in the vicinity of the Correction Home. This school named ‘Heartprint’ is an institution for the little ones, who belong to the ones living in confinement.

This is a first such facility in India, where the little ones of female inmates are given a chance to discover the other side of the world. It’s a complete school with everything any other school in the city has to offer; a desk, books, toys and now even a television set.

“For the many who have been born in the jail, this is the only ‘home’ and ‘world’ they have known. Till we set up Heartprint they didn’t even know what a school is. It’s no fault of theirs that they are in jail. They are there because their mothers cannot make it out to the outside world,” shares Roy.

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As_conviction_merge_with_Dance. Image source www.indianetzone.com
As_conviction_merge_with_Dance. Image source www.indianetzone.com

Building a better and brighter world for people who turned the life of others into ashes along with making a difference-that is Ms. Alokananda Roy for you.

-Prepared by Karishma Vanjani, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @BladesnBoots


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  • Aparna Gupta

    Convicts should be given the advice and therapy to prevent further crimes by them. Roy is doing a good job, it will help the convicts to choose a right way after getting out of jail.

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Top 10 Movies of Madhuri Dixit

Madhuri Dixit is an accomplished professional Kathak dancer and is trained in the same for eight years

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Madhuri was offered around 2.5 crores for her role in ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’. Wikimedia Commons
Madhuri was offered around 2.5 crores for her role in ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’. Wikimedia Commons

Madhuri Dixit is considered as the queen of timeless beauty. She has always displayed an extraordinary onscreen talent and stands out to be the only actress in Bollywood to have nominated 14 times for the Filmfare Best Actress Award. Madhuri Dixit has also received the iconic Black Lady trophy four times in the Best Actress category and two in some other categories.

Initially, she didn’t have any interest in joining films. She did her degree in Microbiology and wanted to become a microbiologist or a pathologist. But later in her career, she got into acting and dancing. Madhuri Dixit is an accomplished professional Kathak dancer and is trained in the same for eight years.

Also Read: Upcoming Bollywood movies of 2018, we can’t wait for

Due to her flawless skills in dancing, she got choreographed by Kathak guru, Pandit Birju Maharaj for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Devdas’. Pandit Birju Maharaj even credited her to be the best Bollywood dancer ever.

Madhuri Dixit is also honoured with India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2008. Wikimedia Commons
Madhuri Dixit is also honoured with India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2008. Wikimedia Commons

Madhuri was offered around 2.5 crores for her role in ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’ which was more than double than what her co-stars were getting. She is also honoured with India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 2008.

Here we have compiled a list of top 10 movies of Madhuri Dixit which no one wants to miss ever.

  1. Dil is a 1990 Indian Hindi-language romantic film with a leading star cast Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Anupam Kher and Saeed Jaffrey. The movie was directed by Indra Kumar, written by Naushir Khatau and Kamlesh Pandey, and with music composed by Anand-Milind. Dixit received the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance.Dil was remade in Telugu in 1993 under the title Tholi Muddhu, starring Divya Bharti and Prashanth

  1. The excellent Director N. Chandra gave a blockbuster hit to Indian Cinema and his flick was Tezaab, which was released on 11 November 1988 and it is an Indian action romantic Hindi movie starring Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in lead roles. This film made actress Madhuri Dixit an overnight star.The film was produced and directed by N. Chandra. It ran in theatres for more than 50 weeks becoming a golden jubilee, and it was the highest blockbuster at the box office for the year 1988.Tezaab was a critically acclaimed movie and got four Filmfare Awards from twelve nominations. Anil Kapoor won his first ever Best Actor award and Madhuri Dixit was nominated for Best Actress.After the huge success in Bollywood, the film was remade in Telugu as TwoTown Rowdy with Daggubati Venkatesh.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsQ9hXt6Cns
  2. 90’s Era is very well familiar with the Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, which is a 1994 Indian musical romantic comedy film, written and directed by Sooraj Barjatya, starring Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan. The story is about the Indian wedding traditions by relating the story of a married couple and the relationship between
    their families.Hum Aapke Hain Kaun became the highest-grossing Bollywood film. It added to a change in the Indian film industry, with new methods of distribution and a turn towards less violent stories. It was the.Hindi movie to gross over 1 billion, and when adjusted for inflation, is the highest grossing Hindi film of the 1990s and also still one of the highest-earning Bollywood films ever.Hum Aapke Hain Kaun won five Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress, as well as winning the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome EntertainmentAlso Read: Top 10 must watch Tamil movies of 2017

  1. Everyone knows Sanjay Leela Bhansali is a decorative director who directed epic hit Devdas in 2002, which is an Indian romantic drama film. The film is based on the 1917 Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Devdas. This is the third Hindi version and the first film version of the story in Hindi done in colour.The film was screened at 2002 Cannes Film Festival; 2002, and 2014 International Film Festival of India in the “Devdas Section” and “Celebrating Dance in Indian cinema” section respectively.Devdas won the Filmfare Award for Best Film.

  1. Yash Chopra was an exceptional Director who contributed in Indian Cinema by showing his directing skills in the movies like Dil To Pagal Hai, which is also known as DTPH. It is a 1997 Indian musical romantic drama film directed by Yash Chopra. The film depicts the love lives of the dancers in a musical dance troupe. It stars Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor in lead roles, with Akshay Kumar in a supporting role. The film was screened retrospective, during the 2014 International Film Festival of India in the Celebrating Dance in Indian cinema section.It was the first Bollywood film to be shot in Baden-Baden and Europa Park, both German tourist attractions. As a commercial success, Dil To Pagal Hai was a huge hit and became the highest grossing Indian film of the
    year worldwide. Additionally, the film won three National Film Awards and eight Filmfare Awards.

6. Beta is a 1992 Indian Hindi drama film, directed by Indra Kumar, and written by Naushir Khatau and Kamlesh Pandey. It featured Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor and Aruna Irani. Beta is an authorized remake of 1987 Tamil movie Enga Chinna Rasa whose story was inspired by the Kannada novel Mallammana Pavada by B. Puttaswamayya. Beta was the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 1992. It won five Filmfare Awards. Kapoor and Dixit won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards, respectively.

7. In the first movie with ‘Dhak Dhak Girl’ Madhuri Dixit, King Khan exhibited his best performance in Anjaam, which is a 1994 Indian Hindi psychological thriller film directed by Rahul Rawail, it stars Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan. The film is about the consequences of the slightest mistake and how it can ruin your whole life. The movie emphases on the atrocities committed against women.

Also Read: 8 Movies That Made Amrish Puri The Greatest Villain of Bollywood

This was the first time that Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan were paired together and got accolades for their respective performances. Madhuri Dixit earned a Filmfare Best Actress nomination for her role but won the award for her performance in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.

  1. Raja is an Indian Hindi romantic movie starring Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. The film was Sanjay Kapoor’s second film after his debut Prem with Tabu in Bollywood. Prem was a flop, but this film, though panned by critics to have many flaws did excellent business in Bollywood. Its success was attributed to Madhuri Dixit because of her ardent fans. It was the fourth highest grosser of the year at the box office.

  1. Every Bollywood lover knows the bonding amidst Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, which began with the movie Saajan. It is a 1991 Indian romantic drama film directed by Lawrence D’Souza and starring Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan. The movie was released on 30 August 1991. It was a Superhit, emerged as the highest grossing Bollywood film of 1991 and the 5thutmost grossing Hindi film of the 90s decade.

  1. Aaja Nachle is a 2007 Indian film. It was released in India and in the United States on 30 November 2007.  The film stars Madhuri Dixit in her first film after five years. The film opened with mixed reviews and was declared a Flop byBox OfficeIndia.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N-WnXhGpAQ