Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Details

Whose Development ?
By Sharad Sharma

Whose Development (English) and Vikaskalhe Vipreet Buddhi (Hindi) are first comics anthologies on Development recently published by World Comics India.

This comics book is also an example comics journalism at very local level.
Last many years World Comics India is actively working to promote the idea. The Grassroots Comics are are different from the mainstream comics and drawn by the people themselves. The activists use these comics for communication purposes in their respective organisation and area. Over the period of time many of them have picked up the comics as their main profession.

There are stories from Jharkhand which tells how the adivasis are being affected of big development projects and also about the Uranium mines radiation.
Story from Assam shows fisherman's harsh life conditions while the Goa story is about big companies encroachment into tourism. Kolkata story is about slow moving tram and Rajasthan story is about plight of a Dalit man.

Price Rs. 100

Product Details
Paperback : +68 inside
Author/Editor : Sharad Sharma
Year of Publication : 2009
Publisher : World Comics India, New Delhi
Language : English & Hindi

Table of Contents :

Lakhindra Nayak story on displacement of tribals- Page 5
Tania Andrabi story on disappearance in Kashmir. Page 11
Champalal Kushvaha story on Farmers living under debt. Page 14
Tawna story on development in far Northeastern state Mizoram Page 19
Suresh story on plight of dalit boy in Rajasthan Page 22
Thomas Sundi story on corruption in development projects Page 28
Nandeshu story of a dalit family living in Orissa Page 32
Rahul story on big dam and displacement Page 35
Chanchal story on Naxalism in Chattisgarh Page 40
Debajyoti Bora story on fisherman’s dream in Assam. Page 43
Manish Singh story on development and human relationship Page 48
Saptrishi Ray on Nandigram & Nano Page 52
Danis D’souza story on dark side of tourism in Goa Page 56
Rajeswari Saha story on Kolkata famous Tram Page 59
Sunder Mohan story on Uranium mining and radiation in Jharkhand Page 63

Nai Dunia_9th February 2010

Development Comics -NOW AVAILABLE

Meenakshi Kumar |The Times Of India

In Jharkhand’s Jaduguda village, home to India’s uranium mines, a change has taken place. Harmful uranium dust from the mines is no longer dumped into the fields. Till 2002, the villagers were not even aware how radiation from this dust was harming their lives. But thanks to Surendra Mohan Murmu who started an aggressive awareness campaign through wall poster comics, they were able to put an end to this dangerous practice.
Murmu is one of the many ‘comic activists’ in the country who uses this powerful medium to spread awareness among the poor and semi-literate. Through these ‘grassroots’ or ‘development’ comics, activists talk about local issues and how to tackle them. Most are trained in the art of comic making. Ofcourse, these comics are nothing like conventional Archie or Tintin comics.
World Comics India (WCI), a non-profit organization founded by political cartoonist Sharad Sharma nearly a decade ago, has conducted close to 400 comic workshops across India.
Today, WCI is represented by a motley group of people from urban as well as remote corners of the country, who are part of a movement to bring about change at the grassroots. All of them focus on issues that concern their daily lives. Says Sharma, “We have mainly worked with small and medium NGOs in remote and conflict areas of the country. We believe this tool can help people living there raise their voices and open a debate in society.”
So, someone like Tawna, a young activist from Mizoram, talks about deforestation and how it’s killing the fauna and flora of the area, thereby affecting their lives. Or, he tells them about the importance of voting. “I drew wall comics on this issue, highlighting that it was our right to vote and everybody should come forward for it. The result was amazing as many more people, particularly the youth, voted in the last election,” he recalls proudly. Murmu too is very active and his most recent campaign has been against the Bt Brinjal crop in Orissa.
For the activists, cartoons are a great medium to voice their concerns without resorting to protests and dharnas. Rajeshwari Saha, a trainer with WCI, would always shy away from protest movements. But at the same time, she wanted to be heard. What better way was there to do it than through comics? A native of Kolkata, Saha expressed her concern about the phasing out of trams in her comics. Another time, she questioned whether all the development centered around the Commonwealth Games would benefit anybody. “These are stories that hit us but we voice our concerns in a subtle manner through these comics.”
It doesn’t take much to make these innovative comics. As Sharma says, it’s not necessary to know drawing, just a willingness to do so and ability to tell stories.
Drawn on photostat paper and in black and white, it’s the message that ultimately matters. Many NGOs take the help of comic activists to spread awareness about AIDS, infanticide, pollution, etc. Some of the strips have been syndicated and used in local and regional newspapers. “One single strip produced by a sarpanch in Rajasthan on water scarcity appeared in 50 newspapers in three states,” says Sharma who would now like to make this service available in other states too.
Also, he wants the comics to go mainstream. A comics anthology – ‘Whose Development?’ – is the first in a series that he is launching soon. It is a collection of work by 15 activists from across the country, each talking about an issue close to his heart. Sharma, who prefers to call himself a comic journalist, says, “Comics anthologies are very popular in Europe and the US but we don’t have a parallel here. I hope this anthology will engage those who are interested in telling stories through drawings.”
Meanwhile, Murmu has many more stories to share. Comic activism will help him do that.