West Bengal prisoners to get Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan treat

Shahrukh khan and amitabh bachchan

A group of 48 inmates serving life sentences at Kolkata's Presidency and Alipore jail will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to entertain Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan tomorrow by group dancing.

At the inauguration ceremony of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) here at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, the prisoners will present four group dances which includes traditional folk dance 'Chhau', a peacock-style dance and an invocation to the Goddess Kali.

Besides Khan and Big B, others from Bollywood like Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma and Mithun Chakraborty are also expected to be present at the inauguration along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The eight-minute performance by the troupe will be an excerpt from Rabindranath Tagore's dance drama 'Valmiki Pratibha' and would be directed by dancer and choreographer Alakananda Roy who has trained the inmates in a process of their gradual return to the mainstream.

"All of them are very excited and feel honoured to be invited for this show. Although they have performed on stage earlier, this one is going to be more special given the high-profile audience. They could never dream of something like this," Roy said.

Tagore's 'Valmiki Pratibha' is an inspirational story of the transformation of the dacoit Ratnakara into saint Valmiki.

Amidst security, these inmates were today brought from the jail to the stadium where they rehearsed.

Besides opening a new window of creative expression for them, Roy is also teaching them on how to conduct themselves if Big B or SRK talks to them after the show.

"They want to make a comeback in the mainstream. And dance is my way of giving them a second chance in life," said the choreographer who has been conducting workshops with them since 2005.

"When they perform on stage not only they reform by immersing their soul in art but also the perception of the people about prisoners change," Roy said.

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