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From dentistry to animation to promoting environmental issues through illustrations and cartoons, the world has come full circle for Rohan Chakravarty, whose new book “Green Humour for a Greying Planet” (Penguin) has just been published and who fervently hopes the pandemic will come as a “huge lesson” for govts worldwide to redefine their concepts of development.
“Although as a befuddled teenager I strayed into dentistry as my qualification, I realized that drawing cartoons on wildlife were my calling after an encounter with a tigress on a visit to Nagzira Tiger Reserve (in Maharashtra). After a three year stint in the animation industry (2011-2014) which I quite enjoyed, I quit my day job to devote my time entirely towards my series ‘Green Humour’, which by then had started appearing in a few print columns and had also been picked for online syndication by the Universal Press Syndicate.
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“I conducted my first solo exhibition in Bangalore in 2014, which luckily was quite successful, and gave me the financial backing to pursue cartooning full-time,” Chakravarty told IANS in an interview.
Some of the illustrations from the book have been used for several projects and campaigns on wildlife awareness and conservation. Chakravarty is also the author of “The Great Indian Nature Trail” (WWF India) and “Bird Business” (BNHS) and has won awards from UNDP, Sanctuary Asia, WWF International, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Publishing Next for his work.
How did the present book come about?
“My comic strip column Green Humour has been running in the print and the web for 11 years now. Although I have been planning a compilation of my published work for a long time, it just never happened somehow. After a few early rejections from publishers, I gave up on the idea for a few years, chasing other creative pursuits. Compiling work that has already been published can be a little dreary for an artist as it is more about curating and less about creating.
“So I think I needed to age a little and slow down before I could get around to it! Finally, after Penguin showed an interest in my pitch, my interest in the endeavor was revived again last year, and with age on my side this time, along with a fabulous curation and designing team from Penguin, “Green Humour for a Greying Planet” could finally happen,” Chakravarty explained.
To this end, the book is a curation of gag cartoons and comic strips based entirely on wildlife and nature, perhaps the first of its kind. At a time when global warming, wildlife crimes, and man-animal conflicts are at their worst, the book is sure to provide its readers some much-needed comic relief. A comprehensive and satirical take on various aspects of the natural world and the threats to its conservation, this book will appeal to both scientifically inclined readers as well as general readers.
“The research that went into the book varies from cartoon to cartoon. While some have been inspired by personal sightings of wildlife, others have resulted from long hours of reading both popular writing and scientific research,” Chakravarty elaborated.
Much has been written about the impact of the Covid pandemic on the future direction of the struggle against climate change. What’s his take on this?
“I personally feel that the pandemic has come as a huge lesson for govts around the world to redefine the idea of development. The blaring question it now poses is: Is development at the cost of the environment or public health development at all? Fortunately for some countries, their govts are making the effort to unlearn and learn. India has not been so lucky,” he lamented.
What’s next? What’s his next project?
“Among the most exciting projects lined up for this year are an illustrated urban biodiversity map of my current hometown, Hyderabad; a set of 45 endangered shark and rays that I am illustrating for a team of marine biologists and communicators at the Save Our Seas Foundation in South Africa, and another book with Penguin, which is a series of detective comic stories based in nature,” Chakravarty concluded. (IANS/KB)
(“huge lesson” for govts worldwide, who is Rohan Chakravarty, Green Humour for a Greying Planet, covid-19 pandemic, Save Our Seas Foundation)
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India will set up a 50 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Odisha's Sambalpur at a total cost of Rs 301.92 crore, moving steadily towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. MCL has placed a turnkey order to set-up a 50 MW solar power plant with a Chennai-based firm M/s Hild Energy Ltd, which will establish this green energy project within a timeline of 10 months, the MCL said in a statement on Saturday.
This solar plant would cater to the captive power requirement of MCL. The Central PSU had successfully set-up a 2MW solar power plant in Sambalpur in 2014. The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024 in order to become a net zero energy company, aligning itself to use cleaner forms of energy for coal production.
The company said it has pledged a target of installing 182 MW of solar power by 2024. | Photo by Mariana Proença on Unsplash
This 50 MW solar power project will reduce CO2 emission by 91,020 tonnes per annum and carbon offsets of around 24,824 tonnes per annum, claimed the MCL. MCL is the leading production subsidiary of Coal India, having mining operations in Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts of Odisha. Having achieved the highest ever capital expenditure of Rs 2,419 crore in the financial year 2020-21, the company has coal production and dispatch targets of 163 million tonnes and 182 million tonnes, respectively.
MCL was the coal mining company to introduce environment-friendly surface miner technology, which contributes over 95 per cent in coal production. As another environment-friendly initiative, the company has successfully introduced vertical rippers for blast-less over-burden removal in Hingula and Kaniha opencast projects. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: solar plant, carbon neutrality, Odisha, Sambalpur, Coal India, subsidiary, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, solar energy
As the nation celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of his father - renowned poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan - megastar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his dad as he penned a heartfelt note for him. The actor took to his blog where he poured his heart out and also shared an unseen photo with his father. The image in question is from Big B's wedding in 1973, where the two are caught in a sweet moment as they look at each other.
Amitabh Bachchan wrote on his blog,
"My Father , my all .. November 27th his birth in the year 1907 .. Which makes it his 114th Anniversary .. He is in the heavens, with my Mother and they celebrate .. as do we , in thought word and deed .. (sic). But first."
He then posted the picture followed by elaborate paragraphs. The megastar wrote,
"Those rare moments when one would find himself rushing against the winds to prevent the distance between us and to close it down as soon as it can be. The day of my wedding and his expression of fulfilment to not just be in congratulation but instead to be in the face of a belief, a chime, an ultimate season of love and great passion, of the quarries of the fears and conditionings of these deprived gym routines kart ..(sic)". "This could have been unknown for long facilitating years, to give not expected versions and lastly large scale informations of the insides ; but as time passed by, as does now , they explained purposely, the values of education and similarity .. Be in peace and love .. (sic)",
the veteran actor concluded his note. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Amitabh Bachchan, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, actor, blog, birth anniversary, 114th birthday
By Plabita Sharma
The World Vegan month of November usually brings with itself an increased amount of dialogue and searches about Vegan lifestyle, sustainable living and clean beauty. Before pondering any further, it is important to understand what the Vegan lifestyle is and how it goes beyond the concept of consuming a plant-based diet. Veganism essentially is a lifestyle that is driven by compassionate choices and an increased awareness of one's actions on the world. Thus motivated by the two, a vegan individual usually carefully curates their day-to-day practices in a manner that does little to no- harm to the planet, the people and all of its inhabitants.
Beauty as industry has time and again been scrutinised for its effects on the consumers and the ecosystem - this can be during the manufacturing process or the effect it has on the consumer's thought processes. Now, as the world moves towards adopting Global Sustainability Goals, committing to a world that works with the natural resources instead of against them - it is only fair for each individual to be curious about making the right choices to make their beauty bag as consciously curated as possible. With multiple brands coming up with new standards of vegan and sustainable beauty, many consumers are left confused and doubting the authenticity of these claims. So here is a quick guide that can help you make the right choices:
Vegan and cruelty free labels: Keeping true to the traditional meaning of Vegan - any vegan beauty product means that it is completely plant based and has no animal ingredients or any of their by-products like honey, beeswax, dairy product etc. Similarly, cruelty-free as a label means that the ingredients or the final product did not test on animals or harm any animals during the production process. One way to test the authenticity is to check if these products are legally certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), or verified by Vegan organisations as The Vegan Society and others. Cruelty-free and vegan products are also generally categorized by having cleaner and gentler formulas as they are mostly deprived of harsh chemicals and solvents.
Any vegan beauty product means that it is completely plant based and has no animal ingredients or any of their by-products like honey, beeswax, dairy product etc. | Photo by Drew Dizzy Graham on Unsplash
Ethical and natural ingredients: It is equally important to invest in products that use ethically sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients. Since most vegan products tend to be plant derived it is of utmost value to ensure that while the source is nature, the impact of manufacturing is also minimal so that there is no harm done to the environment. Often the face scrubs used by us are most damaging not just to the face and to the marine life as well; thus opting for more natural ingredients rather than synthetic ones is quite beneficial. Some natural scrubbing ingredients are sugar, salt, coffee which are safe for the coral reefs and far gentler than synthetic scrubs.
It is equally important to invest in products that use ethically sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients. | Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Sustainable and ecofriendly packaging: While the ingredients and formulation can be certified, it is also important to pay attention the quality, material and nature of the packaging in which the product is being stored. With an increase in clean-beauty standards, the consumption of such products has also increased, thus giving brands the opportunity to further develop their packaging in a manner that is sustainable and its increased quantity does not harm the environment. This could translate into using raw materials that are recycled and can be renewed or even introducing the concept of up-cycling the product packaging for decoration or storage purposes. Fore example, The Body Shop has recently launched a new line of vegan hair care and body butters; that are not only made of 95 per cent ingredients of natural origin but the packaging is made of recycled plastic that can further be recycled thus continuing the recycling system. Their makeup brushes also have wooden handles instead of plastic ones this adds to their classy appearance and use of ecofriendly material.
The Body Shop has recently launched a new line of vegan hair care and body butters; that are not only made of 95 per cent ingredients of natural origin but the packaging is made of recycled plastic. | Photo by Oli Dale on Unsplash
The above is a small snippet in a long list of things that can help contribute to a cleaner and more consciously lifestyle. Where demand increase, supply follows - as people begin to demand ethical, responsible production and products, more and more brands have begun to deliver. Household names such as The Body Shop have pioneered conversations on clean, green and sustainable beauty for decades - thus making them a frontrunner for several old time vegan people.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Beauty, makeup, clean, November, World Vegan month, New Standards , Vegan, Conscious