Dreaded Maoist Sudama Oraon and 21 fellow rebels have had a before and after transformation in jail, touched by the gesture of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
The power of kindness to reform - the kind shown in director V Shantaram's celebrated 1957 movie Do Aankhen Barah Haath - has played out in real at Sasaram jail in Rohtas district of western Bihar, bordering Uttar Pradesh.
Oraon and his comrades have turned their back on violence after being deeply affected by the way Rohtas superintendent of police Manu Maharaj has embraced their families.
In a recent letter to authorities, Oraon and the others acknowledged they were overwhelmed by the kindness with which Maharaj treated them in prison and their families outside.
The rebels also expressed their desire to abjure violence and rejoin the mainstream, disenchanted with "double standards" of top Maoist leaders.
Oraon, a Maoist sub-zonal commander of the Sone-Ganga-Vindhyachal zone, had earned notoriety for his participation in numerous Maoist strikes including his alleged role in the 2002 murder of Rohtas district forest officer Sanjay Singh.
Oraon, who has been in jail since 2006, said Maharaj, a 2005-batch IPS officer, offered financial assistance to the jailed Maoists' families and helped them lead a decent life.
"Maharaj even took pains to sort out land disputes. He has also helped send our children to schools and colleges. The physically challenged ones have got tricycles, which have given them a new life."
Maharaj, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, said he did what he thought was right.
He added, "The family members are being imparted driving lessons so that they can eke out a living. We have even provided books, laptops and computers."