Senior cartoonist from Hyderabad, Kambalapally Chandra Shekar, political cartoonist with Telugu Daily Andhra Jyothi, has been selected to visit the United States of America under US Government’s prestigious International Visitors’ Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP, established in 1940, is one of the U.S. Government’s most prestigious professional exchange programs.
The U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is hosting a group of 20 political cartoonists from North Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia. During their three weeks in the U.S., Shekar along with other cartoonists will meet with fellow cartoonists around the US and get a taste of American culture. The objective of the 3-week tour will not be coverage, but to provide the participants with an in-depth overview of the theme through group meetings and briefings in the U.S. The entire expense of stay and travel is to be borne by the US Government.
The National Press Club of the United States of America in Washington DC has described Political cartoonists as ones who have the unique ability to capture complex issues in a picture and a few short words. In many parts of the world, they contribute political commentary that few print or broadcast journalists would dare, it says.
Shekar is set to leave for the US on June 18, 2011. As a part of the tour, Shekar will be interacting with cartoonists in Washington DC, New York, Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles, California, and Tampa, Florida, before returning to India. Shekar is one of the three cartoonists from India selected for the exchange programme, the others being the chief cartoonist of Daily News and Analysis, Mr Manjul Mishra, and Ajiteshkar of Bengal.
In his 22-years as cartoonist 45-year-old Shekar has earlier worked with The New Indian Express, Andhra Prabha and Prajashakti dailies. His vast portfolio includes cartoons, caricatures and life sketches. His cartoons are syndicated and also appear in Punjabi daily Ajit, Bengali dailies Viswamithra and Syandan, Hindi dailies Hindi Milap and Navabharat and in Gujarati daily Sandesh.
Shekar has won numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the Best Cartoonist of the Year 2006 from the Andhra Pradesh Government and Best cartoonist entry award in Belgium Cartoon exhibition in 1996. An eklavya shishya of Common Man RK Laxman, Shekar has also published four books comprising collection of his cartoons — Paraahushar, Shekartoons, Bank Babu and Gide Telangana.His latest book ‘The colours of India’ to be inaugurated in USA shortly.