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Nature’s Cartoon Crusader : Rohan Chakravarty and his 'Green Humour'

“I'm not an ecologist, just an ecology enthusiast without a science degree besides dentistry, which I don't really use. However, I can tell you what inspired me to draw cartoons. Initially, it was a tigress, as the concept of "greenium" emerged after encountering my first tigress in the wild. Additionally, various cartoonists I admire have played a significant role in shaping my artistic journey.” - Rohan Chakravarty

In a world plagued with environmental challenges, Rohan Chakravarty emerges as a beacon of hope, wielding a pen and a keen sense of humour to champion conservation efforts. Through his acclaimed series, Green Humour, Rohan addresses pressing ecological issues with wit and creativity, bridging the gap between science and entertainment. Rohan Chakravarty, also known as Green Humour, is quite popular amongst children and readers who read his comics about wildlife conservation and ecology.

When asked about how he explains his profession to people, Rohan says,

“A lot of my peers, my relatives— they don’t understand what I do and it doesn’t bother me anymore. I guess it's a nice spot to be in because most of the people think I’m a failed dentist mooching off my father and I just play along,”.

Rohan was brought up in Nagpur, where youngsters didn’t look at art as a career option. Rohan studied to be a dentist, but then he gave it up because of the realization that it wasn’t for him. After making this decision, he worked as an animator for 4 years, and then plunged into being a full time cartoonist.

Rohan’s journey into environmental cartooning began with a chance encounter with a tigress in the wild. This sparked his passion for nature and inspired him to use his artistic talent for a greater purpose. Influenced by cartoonists like Gary Larson and Bill Watterson, Rohan developed his distinctive style, blending art and humour to address environmental issues. To him, his comics are a way of communication, and he describes himself as a “reclusive pangolin who communicates with people via his illustrations”

"I think being a layman helps my work because it helps me distance myself from science and look at it as entertainment, as something that can cheer you up on a gloomy day," 

says Rohan, reflecting on his approach. This perspective allows him to communicate complex scientific concepts in a way that engages and entertains his audience. For Rohan, conservation isn’t just about big actions; it’s about everyday habits. "Even appreciating the green spaces in our daily lives, like the city parks, is an important step towards fostering awareness," he emphasizes. His cartoons encourage readers to rethink how they interact with nature, showing that even small things matter a lot. 

Rohan faces challenges in the ever-changing landscape of publishing. With traditional print media on the decline, he must constantly seek new avenues to share his work and monetize his creations. However, he remains undeterred, embracing the digital age and exploring platforms like Instagram to reach young audiences. Rohan expresses a deep fascination with ants and other small creatures that often go unnoticed. He believes these critters are crucial to the ecosystem and aims to highlight their importance through his work. His book, "Naturalist Ruddy," features a mongoose detective exploring nature, making the natural world engaging and educational for young readers. Looking to the future, Rohan remains committed to his craft, prioritizing quality over quantity and savouring the joy of cartooning. "One thing I can tell you, though, is that this year onwards, I'm consciously slowing down," he reveals. "I am saying no to work. So, you know, being a cartoonist for 10 years does give you an experience where you can tell now what kind of clients will not have the vision to do justice to your illustration and your effort," he says about his future goals. 

Rohan’s Green Humour stands out as a unique blend of wit and environmentalism, making him a notable figure in wildlife conservation through his creative expressions. His journey from a reclusive individual to a full-time cartoonist dedicated to wildlife issues showcases the power of humour in raising awareness and fostering a deeper connection with nature.

Written by Asfiya Chamashaikh

Asfiya wrote this article as a participant of the Media-Makers Fellowship's April'24 cohort.

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