Millennium Post

Beyond confinement: A musical evening to help lifers get inspiration to live a fruitful life

Six lifers will take part in a unique musical programme at Rabindra Sadan on April 27.

Madal, a group comprising women singers, will present the show along with Muktaberi, the cultural organisation of the convicts.

Final touches are being given to make the show a grand success. A rehearsal was held on Sunday at the Dum Dum Central Correctional Home.

Sujit Dolui, Giridhari Kumar, Paritosh Ghosh, Swapan Sardar, Sirajul Islam and Asim Dutta who have spent more than a decade behind the four walls of the correctional home will sing with the singers of Madal.

Tapan Roy, noted folk singer and researcher, who has been giving training to the convicts for quite some time said: "It is through music that they have been trying to overcome depression. Along with singing, many of them have learnt to play instruments like dotara, dugi and the dhol. They have set an example before other convicts who have been showing a lot of interest to learn music." It may be mentioned that Pope John Paul II, himself a celebrated musician, had once said: "Music washes from our soul the dirt of every day's life."

The purpose of the programme is to encourage the convicts and present them before the audience and show them how perfectly they perform with trained and professional singers and musicians. "The audience will be enthralled to see them perform," added Roy. Altogether, as many as 22 songs will be presented that include patriotic songs, devotional songs, folk songs, Rabindra Sangeet and songs of Lalan Fakir. The latter's songs have been translated into Hindi to give them a national colour. They will present famous Rabindra Sangeet Ebar tor mora gange ban eseche.

Roy added: "Years of practice have made them perfect folk singers today. When they sing, other convicts come and listen to them and the whole atmosphere changes. Through music, they get inspiration to live a good life."

The state government is giving all support to the correctional home authorities to provide them proper facilities. The convicts will be brought to the venue in a prison van and will be taken back to the correctional home after the programme is over. A few years ago HMV had brought out an album called Ore Manush comprising songs sung by the lifers.

It was Swami Divyanananda, a trustee and governing body member of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, who had first prepared schemes to bring back the convicts to mainstream in Malda correctional home. Divyanandaji, who was the secretary of RKM Malda, went to the correctional homes and took classes on meditation and also the initiative to give them vocational training.
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