Mrunal Manmay Dash

It is Holi time and the wholesale and retail markets of Cuttack city are on an overdrive. People are making a beeline to buy colours, sprays, balloons, masks and other items to celebrate the festival in a grand manner. There is a lot of enthusiasm among the people to play Holi this year compared to last year.

As a result, the business of colours and other goods in Cuttack is expected to be on the higher side, especially with the new herbal Holi concept gaining popularity for several reasons.

“We have come to buy colours for Holi. My daughter chose to take one colour sprayer (Pichkari). Everybody is insisting on using organic colours. So I am buying this as well,” said a Cuttack local Chittaranjan Jena.

A little girl who had come to buy colours said, “I love ‘pichkaris’, so I have bought two of them. I will celebrate Holi with my family.”

Asked about the sales this year, a Holi stall owner said, “There are about 1000 stalls set up in Cuttack to sell Holi colours. Business is brisk this year and we are quite happy. People are demanding more Gulal.”

Due to the general elections this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi'ss mask is also in good demand.

On the other hand, the people of the Odisha capital are also very excited about Holi. People are thronging shops to buy colours.

Gulal colours are being sold at a price ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 300 per kg. While chemical dyes have stopped altogether, only herbal colours are being bought by the customers.

The doctors have also advised people to play Holi with herbal colours instead of chemical and synthetic colours.

Advising to play a safe Holi, Dermatologist Manas Ranjan Puhan said, “We should know first which colours to play with. There are two types of colours. One is a chemical colour and the other is a natural or herbal colour. Organic colours are mentioned on its packet. So people should choose natural colours over chemicals. Synthetic colours have mercury, lead, iron etc which can damage the skin. It can also be absorbed by the skin and affect internal organs like heart, kidney and lungs.”

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