Bindia Thapar created visual campaigns for the women’s movement with her posters, illustrations for books, monographs, websites and, left a legacy of visual imagery in her illustrations for children’s books
By Juhi Jain
Our beloved feminist friend Bindia Thaper passed away on April 18 in New Delhi. An architect by profession, Bindia Thapar, was best known for her passion and creativity – as an “illustrator by choice”, having created some of the most vibrant, lively and colourful illustrations for books for children and young adults. As a feminist, she has also illustrated posters and banners on issues of literacy, violence against women, sustainable livelihoods, child rights, peace and diversity for many NGOs and women’s groups. Her work has been published widely in South Asia, England and US.
Bindia, with a professional degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi had spent many years in formal teaching as a visiting lecturer at SPA, New Delhi. However, Bindia, loved to draw and design, a creative pursuit which according to her was “inspired by her daughter Meao”.
She spent a major part of her time designing, decorating and illustrating books and publications for children, for publishing houses of repute like, Zubaan, Penguin Books, Puffin Books, Tulika Publishers, Dorling Kindersley, Katha and Kali for Women.
Some of the books which showcase her innate talent to convert serious issues into fun filled and engaging subjects for kids through creative calligraphy and drawings are: Ka se Kapde Kaise?, Maalu Bhalu, We, the Children of India: a Preamble to the Constitution, Curiosity Killed the Cat and other Animal Idioms, The Runaway Puppy, The Magic Raindrop etc.
Bindia is also remembered for her deep commitment to issues of sustainable diversity and peace, environment and gender justice. Towards this end she has co-authored and also illustrated and designed several posters, books, monographs and websites. Some of her prominent work, in collaboration with feminist activist and writer Kamla Bhasin, has been created for Jagori, feminist resource centre, namelyTurning Aids into Opportunities, If Only Someone had Broken the Silence, Men and Masculinity, Laughing Mattersamong others.
We will always remember Bindia as a feminist friend and colleague known for her generosity, warmth and affection. She valiantly battled her deteriorating health with spirit and resilience, an example we all must learn from. Bindia, we are missing you sorely but we hope and pray that you will be happy and blessed wherever you are.
(First Published in Feminist India)