One of India’s most successful cartoonists Pran Kumar Sharma on Monday was posthumously conferred the Padma Shri Award, the country’s fourth highest civilian honour.
Pran was the man behind famous character Chacha Chaudhary. He began his career in 1960 as a cartoonist for the Delhi-based newspaper Milap with comic strip Daabu. In 1969, he sketched Chacha Chaudhary for the Hindi magazine ‘Lotpot’, which made him famous.
His others famous characters included cartoons like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman, Channie Chachi among others.
He was born on 15 August 1938 in the small town of Kasur, now in Pakistan. The family moved to Gwalior after partition of the country. He graduated with a Master of Arts (Political Science) degree and then completed a four-year course in Fine Arts from Sir JJ School of Arts, Mumbai.
He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 from Indian Institute of Cartoonists. He was also included in People of the Year 1995 by Limca Book of Records for popularising comics in India. He is also noted as ‘Walt Disney of India’ in The World Encyclopedia of Comics. He died on 5 August 2014.