Kambalapalli Shekar, cartoonist of Telugu daily Andhra Jyoti, who hails from Suryapet, in Nalgonda district, had the distinction of being the second Indian, the first from the South, to be part of the International Visitor's Leadership Programme, USA.

He was one of the 20 political cartoonists to visit Washington DC, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Los Angeles and Florida in June-July this year and interact with cartoonists there. The programme enables visitors to go around cities in the US and interact with locals. Nalgonda-based Jayamitra Sahitya Samskrutika Vedika organised a function here on Sunday to felicitate Mr. Shekar after his return from the U.S. District Collector N. Mukteswara Rao was the chief guest. Venu Sankoju, president of the vedika, local artists, poets, photographer Dasarath Kumar and cartoonists Shankar of Sakshi Telugu daily were among those present.

Speakers at the function praised Mr. Shekar, who began his career with Praja Shakti Telugu daily in 1989 and went on to work in Andhra Prabha and Indian Express before moving to Andhra Jyoti.

The cartoonist, through his syndicate, is providing his works to Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Tamil publications. He has so far drawn 45,000 cartoons and written five books.

Mr. Shekar considers himself as ‘ekalavya sishya' of the legendary cartoonist R. L. Laxman.