Surge in herbal colour price may spoil Holi fun

By Dillip Kumar Pradhan

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: The festival of colour-Holi- brings joy and delight for the people from all walks of life, but sometimes the festival turns nightmare for many when the revellers go crazy for the chemical laced colour instead of traditional herbal items.

Even as the experts advise revellers to use as much as organic colour, the skyrocketing prices of such herbal items have shadowed the festive fervour especially for those who prefer to play Holi with dear one especially kids with herbal colours.

The price of such items this year has seen a sharp increase compared to the past year. The traditional colour also known as ‘Gulal’ is being sold Rs 70 to 80 against the price ranging between Rs 40 to 50 per kg of organic product. “The quantity which I used to purchase every year, has been lessen due to exorbitant cost of the product. I have to manage with less quantity this year. Specially, I prevent my kids playing the colour festival with chemical and banish colour”, said Akshya Jena, a reveller from VSS Nagar area of Bhubaneswar.

This apart, various ‘pichkari’ items made in China have also flooded the market in abundance than the country made items. The cost of such items is also not less, said Bikram Swain, a private tutor, who encourages his students to use traditional colour with Indian made ‘pichkari’.

The organic colour makers advise the revellers to go green this holy. “It will be healthy if revellers especially prefer the herbal product to protect the skin from chemicals. These colours are prepared from roots, leaves, flowers and other parts of plants which would add to the joy of festival”, said Namita Behera, a colour maker from Tulsipur area of Cuttack said.

Like Namita, a number of traditional artists are selling these in the millennium city. “The organic colour can be made from mehendi, turmeric, sandal wood and some flowers and leaves. In fact, they have anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, another artist said. The demand of such colour has increased substantially, but advertisements of chemical colour companies have badly affect the homely seasonal business, he added. People should realise the importance of herbs, the artist pointed out.

Dermatologists also feared the massive use to chemical and banish colour used by the young revellers. They cautioned against harmful effect of such items while issuing some tips while playing Holi. Noted skin specialist Dr Jayant Dash advises the revellers, those use the chemical colour, to lessen the duration of play.

“Maximum expose to sun during playing with such colour is not advisable. Vaseline should be applied on face and other parts of body before playing with colour among friends. Eyes are most sensitive to chemical. One should remain extra careful towards it”, said Dash, who is also the head of the department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, IMS & SUM Hospital.

In order to protect the hair, olive oil should be applied on head or the head should be capped, the dermatologist advised.