Self-taught cartoonist from Andhra gets accolades in S. Korea, China

Malladi Durga Rao with his work at Bandarkota area near Machilipatnam.

Malladi Durga Rao with his work at Bandarkota area near Machilipatnam.  

Cartoonist Malladi Durga Rao stitches up cartoons on social issues

In the Dutch settlement of Bandarkota on the outskirts of Machilipatnam, a 60-year-old tailor goes about his work quietly even as visitors from across the globe flock here to document the colonial past and sea-borne trade once flourished here.

Living in a thatched house a few metres away from the Dutch fort, the self-taught cartoonist Malladi Durga Rao keeps himself busy with thoughts on checking the spread of HIV/AIDS, environment, wildlife and healthcare measures needed to build a healthy society.

Global reach

In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Rao’s cartoons on environment (Global warming – impact on ozone layer) and saving trees were published respectively in the honourable mentioning category at the 20th Daegon International Cartoon Contest held in South Korea. “Earlier, my cartoons on environment have been displayed and got honourable mentioning in the China LM International Cartoon Exhibition. I have drawn 43 cartoons since 2009, focussing on creating awareness on AIDS, environment, anti-dowry system”, Mr. Durga Rao told The Hindu.

Hailing from the Konaseema region in East Godavari district, Mr. Rao migrated to Bandarkota in late 1980s and settled here. “I met cartoonist Subhaani during my stay in Hyderabad, seeking guidance to try my hand at cartoons. His critical inputs and suggestions have helped me to begin my journey as a professional cartoonist,” added Mr. Rao. He has passed class 10.

Innovative campaign

Mr. Rao saved some money and arranged flex banners of his cartoons with a few themes for the exhibition. “Half of my cartoons are on a campaign against the spread of HIV/AIDS. I try to reach out to the youth through my work, sensitising them on the spread of HIV/AIDS, need for giving up smoking and protection of nature and wildlife”, he says.

He is now gearing up to erect banners of his cartoons on health, environment and save trees at five select places in Machilipatnam. “I have saved ₹1,000 for my next initiation of putting up banners of my cartoons. I hope that my work can be reached to my target group only when it is exhibited in many ways”, Mr. Rao said.

The promising cartoonist has been exhibiting his works at various venues for the past six years, apart from eking out a livelihood through tailoring.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 8:49:25 PM |

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