Creator of the lovable comic character Chacha Chaudhary, cartoonist Pran Kumar Sharma breathed his last on Wednesday. He passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer at a hospital in Gurgaon. He was 75 years old. “Pran passed away at 9 a.m. at the Medanta Hospital. He had been suffering from cancer of the intestine for the past eight months. He is survived by a son and a daughter," said his publisher Gulshan Rai from Diamond Comics.
With a career spanning over five decades, Mr. Sharma employed a simple style of art and sense of humour to create a family of characters like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman and Channi Chachi, which are regularly published in Indian magazines. He began his career in 1960 as a cartoonist for the Delhi-based newspaper ‘Milap’ with comic strip ‘Daabu’ and in 1969, he sketched Chacha Chaudhary for the Hindi magazine ‘Lotpot’ which made him famous. He was born in Kasur, near Lahore in Pakistan in 1938. “Pran was making small cartoons for newspapers when I first contacted him in 1981. At that time there were no Indian comics, it was all reproductions of foreign titles. For the last 35 years we have been the sole publisher of his cartoons," said Mr. Rai.
He was the recipient of numerous awards including a mention in the Limca Book of Records in 1995 as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award 2001 from Indian Institute of Cartoonists. The World Encyclopedia of Comics describes him as the “Walt Disney of India" and the Chacha Chaudhary strip is featured at the US-based International Museum of Cartoon Art. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter to express his grief over the passing away of the cartoonist. Mr. Modi described Pran "as a versatile cartoonist who brought smiles on the faces of people through his rich work".
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