The Election Commission of India (ECI) is using fictional comic characters of popular Chacha Chaudhary series to “inspire the youth to enroll and participate in the festival of democracy”.

A comic book titled Chacha Chaudhary aur Chunavi Dangal was launched by the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun Goel on Wednesday at Nirvachan Sadan. “The comic book is a joint initiative of ECI & Pran Comics designed to inspire the youth to enroll and participate in the festival of democracy. It features the iconic cartoon characters Chacha Chaudhary, Sabu, Billoo brought to life by the renowned cartoonist late Pran Kumar Sharma,” the ECI officially stated.

Speaking exclusively to businessline, Pran Comics CEO, Nikhil Pran, said: “Ten different stories have been developed in the 62-page book to educate children of the election process using the brand icon of Chacha Chaudhary, who is known to use his brains to solve complex issues.” The spread, begins from creating awareness about polls among youth, goes on to encouraging youngsters to become voters, talks about women participation, and cautions through characters not to use unfair means in the elections, Nikhil narrated about the new initiative with the ECI started two years ago.

Right now, the comic strips, available in physical and virtual versions, have been published in Hindi only, but it will come out in other languages as well, he informed. Pran Comics has liberally used Hinglish to reach out to the new generation that is regularly fed with emerging languages in their daily lives, be it conversing among friends or catching up animation cartoons and movies. The first chapter, for instance, is titled: “Chacha Chaudhary aur new voter”. Similarly, another is billed as: “Chacha Chaudhary aur Third Gender Voter Awareness Icon”.

On the occasion, CEC Rajiv Kumar said comics as an outreach medium is relevant and irreplaceable, even in this age of digital media. “These comic characters, with their universal appeal and emphasis on values like honesty, kindness and compassion, provide an engaging platform to convey election-related information creatively,” he observed recalling his childhood memories.

The comic book will also be available free on Kindle, and on apps like Google play and GeoMapp to promote electoral literacy. Pran Comics will also be distributing free 30,000 copies in schools and is also looking to push its e-version through social media posts, Nikhil stated. Besides that, it would be offered free with every other regular comic book. The publisher stated that they sell 6 lakh copies every month owing to its iconic brand that has entertained generations.