The IVLP, established in 1940, is one of the US government's most coveted professional exchange programs, and consists of a 3-week tour of the USA.
A senior cartoonist from Hyderabad, Kambalapally Chandra Shekar, popularly called Shekar, has been selected to visit the United States of America under the US government's prestigious International Visitors' Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP, established in 1940, is one of the US government's most coveted professional exchange programs.
Shekar is a political cartoonist with Telugu Daily Andhra Jyothi.
This year, the 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 3 weeks in the US, Shekar and 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 be not coverage, but to provide the participants with an in-depth overview of the theme through group meetings and briefings in the US. Expenses of stay and travel will 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 he will interact with cartoonists in Washington DC, New York, Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles, California, and Tampa in Florida, before returning to India.
In his 22-years as cartoonist, 45-year-old Shekar has earlier worked with The New Indian Express, Andhra Prabha and Prajashakti. 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 Gujarati daily Sandesh.
Shekar has won several awards and accolades for his work, including the award of the Best Cartoonist Of The Year 2006 from the Andhra Pradesh government, and the Best Cartoonist Entry award in the Belgium Cartoon Exhibition in 1996.
A dedicated student of Common Man R K Laxman, Shekar has also published 4 books comprising collection of his cartoons - Paraahushar, Shekartoons, Bank Babu and Gide Telangana. His latest book 'The colours of India' is set to be inaugurated in USA shortly.
Shekar is one of the 2 cartoonists from India selected for the exchange program, the other being the chief cartoonist of Daily News and Analysis, Manjul Mishra, of Mumbai. (INN)