Rajbhawan, Lucknow Oct 29: Cartoons are most effective at communicating with human beings. They not only tickle us but are also capable of delivering tough messages in a simple, subtle and riveting manner. Human mind is hard wired to take their messages on board ahead of other forms of communication. A ‘scientoon’ is a cartoon communication based on science.
Scientoons are meant to inform and sensitize people to science and scientific concepts in an intelligible and interesting way. World’s first scientoon book entitled “Bye Bye Corona”, written by ‘scientoonist’ Dr Pradeep Srivastava, former Senior Principal Scientist at CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow, was released in a function held at Raj Bhawan, Lucknow, by Ms. Anandi Ben, Governor, Uttar Pradesh. The book is published by Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India. Dr Nakul Parashar, Director, Vigyan Prasar, and Nimish Kapoor, scientist and head of publication division, Vigyan Prasar, are the chief editor and editor of the book.
The 220 pages book contains comprehensive information on novel coronavirus pandemic, its symptoms and its prevention through precautions. ‘Bye Bye Corona’ also has a very interesting chapter on the ‘Art of Living with Coronavirus’ highlighting the methods to deal with the virus in day to day life if it is here to stay for a longer time. The Book offers a perspective insight into the intricacies of the deadly pandemic without scaring the reader.
“The basic purpose of this book is to make people aware of COVID-19 in an engaging way. I drew few scientoons and posted them on my facebook. Dr Nakul Parashar (Director, Vigyan Prasar) noticed them and tossed the idea of developing a book of scientoon on coronavirus. I planned for a 50 pages book initially, as I was working single handedly on the project. After having realized the vastness of the subject, I decided to seek toon contribution from more people. The final version of the book has 220 pages” said Dr Pradeep Srivastava, the author. Other than him, seven students scientoonists namely Ms. Lakiesha Inacia Coehlho E Costa, Ms.Da Costa Maria Scimran Blossom, Ms. Priyanka Shanke, Ms Samaradini Paigankar, Ms.Selcea Savia Da Costa and Mr. Prathamesh P. Shetgaonkar from Parvati Bai Chowgule College, Madgaon, Goa, also contributed to the book . Another contributor is Vishal Mulia, a school teacher in Gujarat. “Post its launch in India, the book would soon be released in Brazil under Brazil-India Network program and would possibly be translated into Portuguese language” informed Dr Srivastava.
“Pictorial display of a fact or fiction has always been one of the most powerful medium of retaining the attention of a reader. In a number of graphical representations of communication that assist the reader, cartoons have always been preferred. In the domain of sciencetoon, Dr Pradeep Srivastava’s Bye Bye Corona stands apart with a topic so relevant that ardently requires cartoon form. A collection of science toons at a very relevant point. Indeed, a well awaited title!” said Dr Nakul Parashar, Director, Vigyan Prasar.
“Vigyan Prasar is actively publishing popular science books and Bye Bye Corona is a timely publication to understand the pandemic through cartoon characters. Awareness is the best tool for prevention, which in turn is the best way to save us from this pandemic” observed Nimish Kapoor, Head, Publication Division, Vigyan Prasar.
It is further planned to make a 3D version of this book, as to facilitate its multi lingual adaptation across India and abroad. The scientoon book ‘Bye Bye Corona’ is expected to help create wider awareness about COVID-19 cutting across age, language, and national boundaries.