AHEAD OF HOLI, MARKETS FLOODED WITH A VARIETY OF COLOURS
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 | PNS | Dehradun-
With just a couple of days left for the festival of colours- Holi, the markets in Dehradun are flooded with a variety of colours and other products available for the revelries. Though here has been increased focus in recent years on organic colours instead of chemical products, shopkeepers in Dehradun state that the general public prefers to purchase the cheaper chemical colours compared to the costlier colours being sold as organic.
Apart from both chemical and organic colours available in different forms, special caps, wigs and motley items are also available for the festivities.
Though the average expense incurred by revellers on festivals like Holi may have increased, the cheaper and commonly sold chemical colours appear to be the choice of many customers mainly due to the price factor.
While the smallest packet of chemical colours costs about Rs 10, a similar quantity of organic colours is being sold for about Rs 30. When it comes to the colours used for spraying on revellers, the chemical product costs Rs 100 while the organic version is being sold for about Rs 140.
Talking about the stock of colours in the market, a shopkeeper near the Clock Tower, Abhinav Mittal said, “We have a good stock of organic colours too but people prefer to take the Rs 10 packets. One can get more for less on purchasing such chemical items so the customers appear to prefer it to the organic colours.”
Elaborating on the subject, another vendor said that if a shopkeeper decides to offer only the organic colours for sale then the business might incur a loss. “The organic colours cost more and are generally bought by people who are well off. In general the people prefer to buy the cheaper colours since they will be used only on one day. Nobody really cares about the chemicals in the colour,” opined the vendor.
‘ORGANIC’ COLOUR CONTAINS VARIOUS HARMFUL CHEMICALS
A sampling drive conducted by the Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS) has revealed that even the ‘organic’ colours being sold in various places contain various harmful chemicals. About 79 per cent samples of the colours being sold as ‘natural’ were found to be adulterated. SPECS secretary Brij Mohan Sharma informed that the society collected 62 samples of natural/herbal colours from 12 locations across Uttarakhand. The samples were collected from Dehradun, Vikasnagar, Sahaspur, Doiwala, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Rajpur, Mussorie, Haldwani, Almora, Nainital and Pithoragarh. Apart from the ‘organic’ colours most of the general colours being sold in the market were found to contain chemicals like mercury sulphite in red colour, copper sulphate in green colour, chromium iodide in purple colour, aluminium bromide in silver colour, and lead oxide in black colour. These colours are toxic and can be cause of many diseases like eye allergy, temporary blindness, bronchial asthma, renal failure and even cancer. Most of the colours contain metal oxide or industrial dyes. When these colours are washed they cause water and soil contamination.
SPECS has suggested people use homemade colour on Holi. One can use henna for green colour, turmeric and besan powder for yellow and crushed petals of varied flowers for different colours among other options for safe organic colours. Such colours actually have a good effect on the users, added Sharma.
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