Corporates line-up at Tihar jail for Holi colours

New Delhi: Top-rung Indian corporates are lining at the gates of Tihar Prison to make their Holi colourful.

From IT giants to top-notch five-star hotels, 24 companies have gone to Asia`s largest jail to procure `gulal` and other such colours produced by convicts in a quality- controlled environment.

"Companies like Wipro Infotech, Maruti Suzuki Company Ltd, Birla Soft, LG Life Sciences, Tech-Mahindra, Ranbaxy, Royal Bank of Scotland, and five-star hotels like Taj Palace Hotel, ITC Maurya Sheraton, Hyatt Regency and Shangrila Hotel in Janpath have procured more than 500 pieces of cans containing herbal Holi colours," a senior official of Tihar Prisons said today.

Made from maize starch, these edible-grade `gulals` are available in seven radiant colours and stress-busting seven herbal aromas, he said. Colour red is available in `fresh rose` aroma, orange in `kesar-haldi`, pink in `lilly of valley`, green in `lemon grass`, sky blue in `fresh mint`, yellow in `lal chandan` and magenta in `lavender`.

"All the colours are made through complete hand-made process. The only machine used is the digital weighing scale. They do not contain any heavy metals and are beneficial for the skin," said Swami Vishalanand, an activist with Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, the biggest NGO in Tihar jail complex engaged in rehabilitation and reforms programmes.

"These colours have been made by convicts lodged in jail number 5. A total of over 80 convicted inmates got trained by our NGO to make them. Six prisoners who were released recently and who were earlier engaged in making of these colours, are today earning their living by selling these colours. Complete hygiene is maintained amongst inmates while making the colours," he said.