The festival of colours is finally here and markets are flooded with heaps of colour powders, spray cans and water guns. But, something is different this year — there is high demand for non-toxic and dry natural colours.
Environment-friendly colours replaced silver and gold spray cans that were once a popular choice. The colours are available at Rs 100 to Rs 150 for 100 grams, while the chemical ones cost Rs 10 for 100 grams.
Shopkeepers in sectors 30 and 40 said, in the previous years, only the elderly bought dry colours. Children preferred oil-based colours and spray cans. But, this year, children carefully chose colours without chemicals.
“A 12-year-old boy came to the shop with his mother and he inspected every colour before putting it in his shopping cart. Children are asking about the material used to make the colours, which is surprising,” Deepak Sharma, a stall owner in Sector 40, said.
A grocery store owner in Sector 14, Ganesh Singh, who sells packets of colours and water guns on a table in front of his shop, said many customers asked him if the colours were homemade.
“A lot of women are asking about the materials used to make organic colours. They are buying rice flour and food colours instead of packets of colours. People are going environment-friendly this year, which is changing the trend of buying cheap colours,” Ganesh Singh said.
Residents said they many develop skin allergies due to oil-based colours. “I played Holi with organic colours the last two years. These are expensive than the chemical ones, but prevention is better than cure. It is important that the celebration does not turn out to be a disaster with skin allergies,” Kiran Sharma of Sector 57 said.
Also, increased awareness about judicial use of water impacted the sale of water guns this year. Shopkeepers said there is a decline in the demand, but, they expect the sale to pick up on Wednesday.