Prominent cartoonist and Padma Shri awardee Narayan Debnath had passed away in Kolkata after battling prolonged illness. He was 96 and is survived by two sons and a daughter.
Debnath leaves behind a rich legacy wherein his comic strips like Handa Bhonda (1962), Batul the Great (1965) and Nonte Phonte (1969) regaled generations of Bengalis.
After complaining of neurological and respiratory problems, he was admitted to a private hospital on December 24 and was put on ventilator support on January 17 after his condition deteriorated.
Doctors at the hospital confirmed Debnath breathed his last around 10.15 am on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Shri Narayan Debnath Ji brightened several lives through his works, cartoons, and illustrations. His works reflected his intellectual prowess. The characters he created will remain eternally popular. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also paid homage to the noted cartoonist.
“Extremely sad that the noted litterateur, illustrator, cartoonist, and creator of some immortal characters for children’s world, Narayan Debnath is no more. He had created Bantul the Great, Handa- Bhonda, Nonte- Fonte, figures that have been etched in our hearts for decades,” she said in a tweet.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar tweeted a video after visiting Debnath in a hospital on December 11. “Sad at demise of Padma Shri #NarayanDebnath legendary cartoonist and creator of immortal characters Bantul the Great, Handa- Bhonda, Nonte- Fonte for children’s world. Huge loss to the world of literary creativity and comics. My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans,” he said.