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Young Indian Cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty wins top conservation award for issues related to Wildlife, Environment

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Indian Cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty, Source: kolkatabirds.com
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New Delhi, May 22, 2017: Avid bird watcher, Rohan Chakravarty has turned his love for wildlife and environment into his muse by drawing cartoons centred on conservation issues under the banner of Green Humour, a comic strip that is being distributed internationally

His cartoons make you laugh out loud. They also carry a strong message of conservation that leaves an instant impression in the minds of young and old alike.

Chakravarty, a wildlife and environment cartoonist from India, has won this year’s WWF International President’s Award for his efforts to change attitudes towards nature.

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The award is the top accolade given by WWF to recognise leadership in young conservationists who are under the age of 30 from around the world. The award ceremony was held recently in Manado, Indonesia.

Hailing from Nagpur (also known as the tiger capital of India), Chakravarty has been an enthusiastic bird watcher since childhood. He was on his way to becoming a dentist when the sighting of a magnificent tigress at a waterhole at Nagzira Tiger Reserve threw his planned career off gear.

It fired up the wildlife lover in him, compelled him to leave dentistry and instead use doodling as a conservation tool. It was a stark and risky career shift in a country where traditionally a lot more emphasis is given to academics rather than creative pursuits when it comes to choosing a profession.

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Today, this young cartoonist and illustrator has made his mark for sketching passionately and consistently on wildlife, climate change and other environmental issues and has many national and international magazines and newspapers lining up for his works.

With over 400 cartoons, Chakravarty probably has one of the largest online cartoon repositories — under the banner of Green Humour — that centres around environmental issues.

Green Humour, which is also the country’s first comic strip to be distributed internationally, showcases how artistic skills can become an effective communication tool to highlight green issues. And for those who like quirky collectibles, there are cartoon mugs and T-shirts available on the website.

“I am honoured to receive the title, which, more than an award, is a reminder of my responsibility to both my art and my muse — wildlife. Cartoons and humour ensure that a reader not only retains a message but also responds to it, and are hence indispensable tools in both communication and conservation,” Chakravarty said.

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“Rohan represents the younger generation of conservationists in India, one who combines his talent for fun, positivity, nature and science through his art, visualising forests and wildlife in a refreshing yet compelling form,” said Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India.

“Through his work and dedication and his added ability to mentor, Rohan inspires individuals in a way that each person can make a positive difference with expression and knowledge.”

From gossiping Arctic Terns — the bird species that encircles the whole planet on its migratory route — to fun maps of tiger reserves in the north-east Himalayan states of India, to portraits of various raptors, to a stressed-out frog who refuses to kiss a fairy-tale princess, to laughing at his own fun caricatures, Chakravarty has doodled them all.

Many of his cartoons also give insights and interesting details about the behaviour of various wild species while others address burning environmental issues. (IANS)

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Mario Miranda: An Enigmatic Legend

A cartoonist or an illustrator? An artist!

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Mario Miranda was one of the most acknowledged artists of India. Wikimedia commons
Mario Miranda was one of the most acknowledged artists of India. Wikimedia commons

Mario Miranda, one of the most versatile artists that lived, had a diverse range of styled and command over different mediums. He used to avoid political cartooning, but as a social cartoonist, his role is unmatched.

‘He was an enigma’

He maintained diary from the age of 10. These diaries are the rarest source of visual chronicles of Portuguese Goa. They captured life in the changing times.

“Mumbai, seen through Mario Miranda’s eyes, is at one level cosmopolitan, symbolising the good things in life, and at another level, a nightmare with its acute space crunch and sundry other civic woes,” says Gerard da Cunha, curator of the artist’s work.

Mr da Cunha believes though that though Mario gained huge popularity during his lifetime, his true genius is yet to be recognized.

Mario Miranda had held exhibitions in 22 countries. Mario Miranda website
Mario Miranda had held exhibitions in 22 countries. Mario Miranda website

A brief history

Mario Miranda was born in 1926 in Portuguese India. He used to draw on walls as a child. Hence, his mother brought him a ‘diary’. Mario was to maintain it for the lifetime.

He started his career with The Illustrated Weekly of India, which published a few of his works. Earlier, he had been rejected at Times of India, which now offered him a slot. Following which, Miss Nimbupani and Miss Fonseca had started to appear in majors like Femina and Economic times regularly.

Mario had also worked with R.K. Laxman before he met another artist, Habiba Hydari, whom he eventually married.

The real thing started to work out when he received an invitation of the United States Information Services. Miranda traveled to America. This trip got him a chance to work with Charles M. Schulz.

His sketch, Balaco Serenade was sold for Rs 5,50,000. Mario Miranda website
His sketch, Balaco Serenade was sold for Rs 5,50,000. Mario Miranda website

 

A legacy

Mario Miranda’s murals are still present in various buildings in Goa and Mumbai. One of his most famous works can be spotted on the walls of Cafe Mondegar. The then owner Rushi Yazdegardi had asked Mario to draw murals on two opposite walls with different themes. The themes were ‘Life in Mumbai’ and ‘Atmosphere in the Cafe’.

Achievements

  • Padma Shri in 1988
  • Padma Bhushan in 2002
  • Lifetime achievement award by All India Cartoonists’ Association
  • Highest civilian honour of Spain “Cross of the Order of Isabel the Catholic
  • Portuguese knighthood in 2009
  • Padma Vibhushan in 2012

Exhibitions

Mario had held solo exhibitions in 22 countries including the United States, Portugal, France and Japan.

A pocketful of chuckles, an exhibition which was held by Galeria Gitanjali, Panjim in 2016 was the largest exhibition which showcased the original paintings of Mario Miranda.

A 288-page compilation of caricatures named The life of Mario: 1949 was also brought out by Gerard Da Cunha.