The State Department, through the U.S. Mission to India, is offering a $35,000 grant to develop a workshop for "sharing ideas on the role of editorial cartooning in India and the United States in creating public dialogue" with "print and broadcast journalists, bloggers, citizen journalists, and journalism students." The grant offer, titled "Cartooning for Cause," gives a brief history of editorial cartooning in India:
Throughout the history of journalism, cartoonists have used humor and satire as a means to create meaningful public discourse. India, like the United States, has a rich history of cartooning. The late eminent author, journalist and cartoonist R.K. Laxman’s cartoon character “The Common Man” was published every day in major newspapers beginning in 1951. Over half a century, “The Common Man” represented the hopes, aspirations, frustrations and the foibles of the average Indian through the daily comic strip “You Said It.” Even with the advent of the Internet, animation and digital technology, cartoons are still used very effectively by intellectuals in both countries and around the world today. It is important that the next generation keeps this tradition of cartooning alive and makes it relevant to the 21st century.
Examples of topics for editorial cartooning include: "climate change, energy security, gender-based violence, intellectual property rights and freedom of speech and expression."
The State Department is soliciting proposals for either a single workshop in Chennai, India, or one that includes additional workshops in other cities. The grant documents note that "[t]he awardee is encouraged to seek and find additional funding for this project, subject to approval by the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai and U.S. Embassy New Delhi."