This Holi, make your own organic colours | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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This Holi, make your own organic colours

Holi begins a day early for the Surendra Kulkarni’s family residing in Colaba, as they head out to buy beetroot and turmeric to make buckets full of colour at home.

mumbai Updated: Mar 16, 2011 01:01 IST
Hari Seshasayee

Holi begins a day early for the Surendra Kulkarni’s family residing in Colaba, as they head out to buy beetroot and turmeric to make buckets full of colour at home.

For more than five years now, the family mixes turmeric with besan and boils beetroot to create a bright yellow and a ravishing red colour for Holi.

As the youngest member of the family, Devavrat, 14, has a skin allergy, the skin-friendly turmeric proves a suiting substitute to harmful industrial dyes of synthetic Holi colours. “The colours easy to make. One beetroot is enough to make a bucket full of red colour. Besides, the children love it,” said Kulkarni, a scientist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

“Since we have been making colours for so long, other residents and children in the area have also started following our example,” added Kulkarni.

As Sunday’s festival of colours approaches, Antara Bhattacharya, 6, feels exhilarated as she gets a “chance to mess around the house” while her hands turn pink crushing beetroot and mixing it with water. “I love making colours for Holi with the family. It’s a lot more fun than going out and buying colours,” said the Class 2 student of St Anne’s High School, Colaba.

In an attempt to spread environmental awareness among children, a group of residents of Neel Tower in Borivli have begun making Holi colours out of household products. “We wanted to take a positive approach towards creating awareness, instead of just forbidding children from using synthetic colours. Now children ask for the mix gulab jal (rose water) and beetroot to fill in their pichkaris (water guns),” said Poonam Kurani, a teacher and a resident of the building.

As children are gearing up to play Holi, a message of safety and environment has been instilled in them, Kurani said. “I prefer making the colours at home because it doesn’t spoil nature,” said Ayushi Kothari, 11.

For those who can’t spare time to make their own colours, there are organic colours sold under the brand name Rang Dulaar in the market. The gulal made from rice flour, dyed with natural colours promise a healthy hue. They are made by women farmers of the NGO, Vanastree, in Karnataka and packaged by women prisoners of Pune’s Yerawada Prison.

Have a dry Holi, advises civic body

Sujit Mahamulkar
n sujit.mahamulkar@hindustantimes.com

MUMBAI: Though the civic body has enough water for the city in its lakes, the civic administration wants Mumbaiites to play dry Holi to avoid wastage of precious drinking water.

“People should celebrate dry Holi. Water is precious and it should be saved,” said additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota, who handles the water department. Last year too, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) refused to release extra water for Holi as the city was reeling under water shortage and 15% water cut had been imposed.

This year, though the water stock is sufficient and expected to last till July 1, the civic body is not keen to supply extra water for Holi. The six lakes, which supply water to the city, have 5.94-lakh million litre of stock against 3.44 million lakh litre last year.

Many housing societies in the suburbs organise rain dance where Holi revellers dance under water sprinklers. The water department said that of 3.5 lakh-odd properties in the city, at least 5,000 residential societies ask for tanker water during the festival every year. It means 5 crore litres of water — one water tanker of 10,000 litres capacity — would goes waste on artificial rain. “The BMC also considering refusing water tanker except for drinking purpose on Holi day.

Mayor Shraddha Jadhav is not happy with the administration’s view. “If there is no water scarcity then the water department should release extra water on the eve of Holi,” said the mayor. She said the meeting would be held on Wednesday on the issue.