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How the Handshake has Evolved

Natya Chandrasekar, 12

Natya has made an amazing collection of cartoons about the "before" and "after" of the current pandemic, and we are very happy to be sharing some of them with Stone Soup readers! This is the first we are posting on our blog, and more will appear in the coming weeks. Natya is selling prints of all of her cartoons to raise funds for a nonprofit organization in her local area called REF (Ravenswood Education Foundation), which has established an emergency fund to provide financial relief related to the school closures due to COVID-19. Ninety percent of students in the school area qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, and the majority of their parents work hourly service jobs. REF is working closely with the school district to plan and address specific needs, including in technology and distance learning, food and food distribution, emergency childcare, and financial support. We at Stone Soup are very happy to support Natya in spreading the word, and congratulate her on her work and her fundraising efforts for her community–well done, Natya!

You can look at the complete collection of cartoons and choose your favourites either in this Dropbox Folder or Google Drive folder, and write to Natya if you would like to obtain a copy of your own. You may pay for the prints either by making a direct donation to REF here, or discussing directly with Natya and her family.


Natya Chandrasekar, 12
Palo Alto, CA

Cartoons are fun and a good way to express difficult messages. Growing up watching Dora and Chotta Bheem (a popular Indian Cartoon show) really started my interest and love for cartoons. The messages were simple yet very powerful and meaningful to reach a difficult audience like little kids. The bigger picture for my cartoons is something that we all will look back at and how our lives changed after a huge event, like the pandemic. I learned that I can voice my opinions with not only my words but with my drawings. When I showed my cartoons to my family it would bring a smile to their faces and this motivated me to create more. When the Pandemic started, my teacher said that the biggest thing was to keep a hold of your humor and look at the glass half full. I want my cartoons to be something people will look at and smile, and that would also deliver a message to those future generations about how our life was before and after the pandemic.

We will be publishing more of Natya's graphic art on the Stone Soup Blog over the coming weeks. And, remember, if you would like to contribute to the fundraising effort and purchase a copy of your own, these are the links for you to do so:

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