10 slum communities in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh were trained to share their stories on health-related issues. A workshop was organised in collaboration with The George Institute-India, which is doing participatory research and helping communities to understand non-communicable diseases.
20th November 2018 Researchers of the George Institute learnt how grassroots comics can be used as a powerful research tool in the field of education and medical research. Cartoonist Sharad Sharma who did extensive work in India in using comics to address the health related issues interacted with the participants. Many of them even tried their hand in comics and created a quick piece of art-story.
Researchers, media persons and Students of Mass communication and journalism at the Peking University, Beijing, China attended a daylong grassroots comics workshop to understand how the medium can be used to communicate health messages. The workshop titled “Grassroots comics at graphic medicine”, was first of its kind. Participants drew very powerful stories on the subject.
20th November 2018
On 20th November one more workshop was organised for another set of students of the Mass communication and journalism at the Peking University. The workshop started in the evening at 5.30 pm and continued till 10.30pm. It was interesting to see how university remains open during the late hours and facilitates such programmes for the students.
Over 30 youth mostly student and budding comic artists participated in a workshop to understand how medium of grassroots comics works to communicate a powerful message to fellow citizen. The occasion was Indie Comix Fest, which provided a platform to independent comics artist to showcase their work. Participants learnt how a local issue could be adapted for a comics story.
Students of Indian Institute of Mass Communication shared their stories on theme ‘Media as we see it‘. Over 80 Students of Advertising and Public Relations & Radio and Television attended the workshop and learnt the art of storytelling through Comics. Students created excellent comics on the current state of media.
It was news for the students of English journalism at IIMC that medium like comics can be used as one of the tool for journalism. No one in the hall was aware of the term ‘Comics Journalism’. In next two days not just they used the new medium but reported many important issues.
Over 30 girls from different part of Nepal celebrated International Girl Child Day by telling their untold story through the medium of grassroots comics. The World Comics Network Nepal coordinator Nirijana Bhatta conducted the workshop. Participants created stories on issues like discrimination, equal rights for the girl, the importance of education etc.
A grassroots comics workshop was organised at Dhempe College, Goa. The students form the different stream participated in the workshop. The workshop was organised in collaboration with Sangath NGO, which is working on the issue of alcoholism and mental health. Participants created several local stories on how alcohol is affecting life of the common people out there.
A workshop was organised on ” Role of Comics in language teaching” for the PLC members of basic school teachers at Etawah, UP . The workshop was conducted by one of the school teacher Ram Janam Singh who himself had learnt the medium in 2012 in a training of trainer’s workshop conducted by World Comics India founder Sharad Sharma at Lucknow.
Ministry of Health flagship programme for the adolescent’s health RKSK is being implemented by the state governments across the country. World Comics India collaborated with UNFPA and Madhya Pradesh government to develop 12 comics books containing different messages on the adolescents age related to the development of physical and mental health. These comics will be distributed to Sathiya adolescent’s groups across the Madhya Pradesh. The comics booklet and animation developed by the WCI will reach out to thousands of children. adolescents of the sate and help them to understand the health, gender, violence related issues. This was continuation of the project started last year.
Over 180 Students of IIT Gandhinagar tried their hand in comics making. It was a very unusual workshop for the students of technology. The organiser wanted to use this methodology to orient new students on several down to earth approaches on the very first days of their classes. As most of the students had to gone through the regress coaching classes to be able to pass the entrance of this premier institute they were relived such an interesting tool for self expression. Many of them shared stories, which were connected to their daily life including exams stress, parents expectations, stress of coaching and their worries for the future.
Superheroes against Superbugs program is a unique initiative of the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance (henceforth, India Alliance) that aims to involve schoolchildren as partners in creatively engaging with the public on antibiotic resistance and its perils. According to projections of the United Nations, antibiotic resistance, if not tackled, could result in 10 million deaths worldwide by 2050. In India, about 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate and 64% of antibiotics sold are unapproved.
A pilot of the program was kick started in June 2018 at TSWREIS, Hyderabad, in partnership with Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. In TSWREIS, Sharad Sharma introduced the children to grassroots comics. It was fascinating to note how the children developed comic stories based on different problems related to antibiotic resistance: dangers associated with stopping antibiotics mid-course, using antibiotics for viral infections, popping antibiotics without doctor’s consultation, environmental pollution with industrial dumping of antibiotics, use of antibiotics in poultry and dairy, and the importance of sanitation and hygiene.
Grassroots comics have empowered the students to develop comics on other issues. Here is what some of them had to say about the experience of developing these comic stories,
“Whenever I heard about comics I thought of jokes. I never knew I could develop my own comics and use them to talk about important issues.”
“My friends would laugh at my drawings, so I would go to other friends who would then draw for me. After this session, I am more confident about drawing and developing my own stories.”
WCI initiated the process in Nepal in 2005 by engaging several civil society organisations, since then hundreds of children and youth have used this methodology. A workshop was organised by local trainers for the children and adolescents of Kathmandu. Participants of the workshop shared their personal stories related to the adolescents issues and converted them into comics posters. All participants later went outside in the local market to collect feedback and open discussion through their comics. The workshop was conducted by Nirijana Bhatta. WCI has been providing training guidance and networking support to such networks.
Taking a break from the most glamorous medium like gaming and animation students of animation and design at the Jamia MIllia Islamia dig into the grassroots level during a 4 days workshop. Participants were not just got acquainted with the medium but also created their comics posters on deep local issues.
Akshay Tyagi was one of the participants of a grassroots comics workshop at development communication at the Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. After completion of his course he joined hotel industry where he took his skill along. He trained Management Trainees of The Lalit during a day long session. In his words “ It was a great day in terms of learning. We successfully managed to meet the objectives of the session and expectations of the participants. We started with a A 4 size sheet, a pencil, a pen and the idea derived from personal experiences. By the end of the day, these images shows what the participants have learnt.s one of my participant said, It’s never too late.
I am glad that I took this opportunity today to share what I have learnt a year back from Mr. Sharad Sharma Sir and I hope we all continue to share our learnings with people to make this world a creative and happy place.”
Ignite volunteerism into youngsters by engaging them in issue focused workshops is one of the main objective of World Comics India. WCI have been organising small-scale workshop for selected lot at their Delhi studio and has trained over 500 trainers in the process in last few years. One such workshop was organised in june this year where participants from different academic background were trained as trainers and engaged further in future workshops.
A workshop was organised in collaboration with Cini-Plan, Khunti, Jharkhand. Children and adolescents form three districts of Jharkhand were part of this workshop. Participants focused on variety of local issues for their comics. For most of the children it was a very different kind of training and hence could engage in the entire process. The participants also could relate with the visual story telling process, as it was something embedded in the tribal culture.
On the final day of the workshop when their final product was displayed inside the workshop hall participants couldn’t believe that it was their own creation.
Two days full of stories, discussions and comics! Students from different college and streams participated in the workshop. While at first, the artistically inclined participants were majorly interested in drawing their comics, they gradually learnt what grassroots comics is all about, and how it’s less about the drawing skills and more about the story. The stories and issues that came up ranged from bullying and feminism to caste and superstitions. Every story evoked an intense discussion, which not only helped them refine their stories, but also opened their eyes to different aspects of the issue. After this was done, the participants prepared their visual scripts and day one was concluded.
On day two, the participants began working on their final comics. Drawing, writing and inking, there seemed to be a different kind of energy in the air. As the participants saw their comics come to life, the two days of hard work seemed worth the result. The workshop was concluded with all participants displaying their comics and getting feedback from the readers.
A training of trainers for the 40 children of two districts of Bihar was organised in collaboration with Plan-India at Patna, Bihar. The participants learn the basics of the communication and story telling in the beginning of the workshop while remaining part of workshop was dedicated for the training of trainers. They created comics on issues like child rights, child marriage, trafficking, cleanliness, environment etc. Children also made plans for post workshop training, they would organise in their respective areas.