Green Humour: Conserving nature, one toon at a time
He almost became a dentist, but now Rohan Chakravarty spends his days illustrating the sex lives of peacocks, the similarity between a langur mum and his own, and the intricacies of Arctic fox fashion. Created with loving detail and shared on his website Green Humour, Chakravarty’s illustrations bring alive the drama and beauty of the natural world. And use incisive humour to make subjects like climate change, sustainability and conservation—that are normally accompanied by alienating jargon—accessible to all.
In May, the 29-year-old was awarded the WWF International President’s Award, the global wildlife body’s highest recognition for young conservationists. Chakravarty’s comics run in national and international publications. He has also created illustrated maps of the wildlife of India, the country’s critically-endangered birds, and various national parks and sanctuaries. For one of his recent projects, he worked with the Madhya Pradesh forest department to create a map and mascot for the Kanha National Park. The result is “Bhoorsingh The Barasingha”, an endearing character who shifts the spotlight from the ever-popular tiger to the park’s other flagship species.
Chakravarty’s work often contains direct calls to action that result in tangible impact. For example, a recent comic on the illegal pet trade in pygmy marmosets caused a reader from Peru to write in saying he would never buy one again. But the comics are at their most powerful when they bring out the quirks and distinctive traits of various species with affectionate humour, making readers fall in love with them and, thereby, start valuing them.
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