#FeatureFriday: Green Humour comic shows the sad state of nature under the name of development

A video went viral few days ago, which saw a leopard taking a stroll in a shopping mall. It’s scary that the animals are now regularly seen in human vicinity, but what is scarier is the fact that humans actually have entered their habitats. The human habitation has destroyed many animals’ natural habitat in the name of globalisation and development, bringing leopards and tigers into the human localities. The growth of human population and the intensity of human activities have reached a level which is now impacting the environment and natural resources. What humans do or fail to do will determine the future. A comic that appeared in the Sunday issue of Mid-Day saw some serious environmental issue being focused. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which has lost significant green cover to infrastructure projects, is bracing for one of the biggest environmental blows, as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project will take up 18.92 hectares of mangrove land and 117 hectares of forest land in Thane and Palghar districts, as mentioned in a media report. The comic column, Green Humour in a very subtle and comic way showed the deterioration of nature in the name of globalisation. Comic artist Rohan Chakravarty illustrated the comic showing the actual dark condition of civilisation in the state. Green Humour is a comic platform which runs in four weekly columns: Mid-Day, The Hindu, Hindu BL-ink, and Gocomics and revolves around wildlife conservation, wildlife biology, sustainability and climate change. Green Humour is also active on social media platforms with almost 0.0167 million followers. Chakravarty’s take on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, through the comic strip speaks about some environmental ‘accomplishments’ of India’s ruling government. A conservationist also commented while talking to media, how there has already been immense damage to mangroves and forest land in the state, and how the government is supposed to protect the nature and not destroy it. “Encroachment of natural spaces, growing human populations, human-induced climate changes, all are emerging to be realities that governments as well as the media cannot afford to ignore anymore. These are issues I tackle frequently in my comic strip series, Green Humour,” said Chakravarty. The comic strip talks about how the bullet train will be hampering the life of animals, and has helped people consider thinking about the issue. “There are problems balancing development and conservation amongst other countries too, but the will to do balance it seems diminishing in our country,” added Chakravarty. With the nature’s grievance being addressed in this subtle way, the awareness towards nature among the citizens seems to be increasing. “There is growing resentment among people towards this ‘man-handling’ of India’s natural heritage by the government. It wasn’t a surprise then, that this particular comic from my series was received well by readers across India, both in the print and on the digital platforms,” concluded Chakravarty. The comic has engaged a considerable audience and we hope to see the change in the coming days, for as quoted by John Muir – In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks!