Ibrahim Badusha turns the computer screen to show a visitor the colour caricatures he has drawn of actor Annie and director Shaji Kailas. He is sitting in a corner of Style Plus, a shopping centre in Thiruvananthapuram, with a flex next to him that says ‘Art in need is art in deed: Stand with Kerala’. Shoppers stop to read the message and sit down to have their quick caricatures drawn and then donate whatever they can for the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.
“This is the final leg of our show. We have been conducting caricature shows across the state, as a group or individually, to raise funds for the CMDRF, soon after the floods this year,” says Badusha, a cartoonist and part of the NGO, Petals Globe, aimed at refreshing young minds. By ‘we’, he means a group of cartoonists who have come together for the purpose, a group they call the Cartoon Club.
“It is not an officially registered club. We have informally come together – about 140 of us. The idea came when a friend of mine –Thoufeek – from Kozhikode had to seek refuge at my home in Thottumugham, Aluva during the flood. He had come to attend a meeting in Kottayam but it was cancelled because of the floods and he came to my home. Together we saw the field in front of my house fill up (with water) in six hours. He asked if I couldn’t do something creative about it,” Badusha says.
More than raising funds, the idea is to spread awareness about contributing to the CMDRF, says Sanu Sathyan, chief-coordinator at Petals Globe. “Especially when there has been a lot of negative campaigning against contributing to the CMDRF,” he adds.
The Cartoon Club first conducted a caricature show at the Aluva Railway Station. “Around 34 cartoonists had gathered that day, led by senior cartoonist Sukumar. Another show was later organised at the Ernakulam Collectorate. Then there was one at Kasaragod bus stand by Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham. Few people knew what caricatures are,” Badusha says. There was also individual participation by members of the Cartoon Club in Thrissur, Kozhikode etc.
Badusha mentions a few cartoonists who have been really active: Hassan Kottepparambil, Basheer Kizheri (Malappuram), Nishanth Sha (Thrissur), Jalal Abusamaa (Dubai-based), Shanavas Mudikkal, Santhosh Iritty (Kannur), Mukeeb Patla.
They did this last year too, post floods, raising nearly Rs 1 lakh through live drawings and Facebook campaigns. This year, they have raised much more, Badusha says, but haven’t counted the exact amount. The group will be handing over the sum to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, with his caricature, on Tuesday afternoon.