A book that traces the journey of a danseuse in changing the lives of hundreds of prisoners

A book launched in the city on Thursday traces the journey of a danseuse in changing the lives of hundreds of prisoners.

In Search of a Valmiki is the story of Alokananda Roy, who had started a dance and music workshop in Presidency Jail in 2007. What started as a therapy evolved into a movement, giving new direction to close to 200 prisoners, some of them once branded as “hardcore criminals”.

“This is a tale of the condition of Indian prisons and how Roy brought about a change through art and the instrument of love,” said Sujit Bhar, journalist and the author of the book.

“If you’ve wronged you have to be punished but everybody deserves a second chance. We shouldn’t treat them like animals,” Roy had told this newspaper at a programme in 2015.

Bhar met Roy on the sidelines of a programme in the city several years ago. “Her work is fascinating, nothing short of extraordinary,” he said.

Musician Tejendra Narayan Majumder and cardiac surgeon Kunal Sarkar were present at the launch.

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