HYDERABAD: Much like everything else, celebrating Holi has also changed in many ways.
From the messy, loud and drunk Holi where removal of colours would take several days, Holi in the past few years has acquired the prefix of green or herbal. Initially thought as a concept for and by the elitist, demand for organic colours has only risen over the the years.
But, unlike chemical colours which make their presence felt on pavements of busy roads and crowded local markets, those willing to purchase the herbal colours are crying hoarse on social media asking where can they purchase them.
Abhinav Gangumalla, CEO of Hyderabad Goes Green (HGG), which has been selling eco-friendly natural colours as part of its ‘Green and Clean Holi’ campaign says the problem prospective buyers are facing is that of accessibility.
“Even though people want to buy, they are not able to because they do not know where organic colours are sold,” he says and adds that this year the campaign is being conducted in association with Aurora Business School.
To make herbal colours easily accessible, HGG is selling them at six different locations, spread across the city. These include Bnajara Hills, Gachibowli, Himayathnagar, Secunderabad, Hitech City and Kukatpally.
HGG has been producing organic colours for the past four years using a technology that has been bought from the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU).
“The research was funded by the World Bank and this adds authenticity to our claim that our colours are organic,”informs Abhinav and adds, “If anyone asks if our Holi colours are organic, I say they are edible.” The chemical-free colours being sold by the organic store include blue, pink, orange, green and yellow. These however are not perfumed as using essential oils into colours would increase the cost of production and adding cheaper synthetic fragrance would defeat the purpose of having a green and safe Holi.
Call it increased awareness or becoming more sensitised towards keeping your skin, particularly eyes safe, Hyderabadis are not shying from shelling out extra money. Even though HGG is selling 500 gms of five colours at Rs 250 each, unlike every year when they manufactured 600-700 kgs of colour, this year they have produced a tonne, of which nearly half has already been sold on day one.
“Remaining will be sold tomorrow. There is question of excess stock. Every year we have people coming to buy colours even on the day of the festival.” Abhinav shares.
The retailer also cautions people against spurious herbal colours which are available in the market aplenty. So how does one know which colours are organic? “Trust only the branded ones.
A lot of these so-called-organic colours have chemicals. Even though they claim that chemicals are within permissible limits, the fact remains that they have chemicals,” he opines.
Abhinav adds a word of caution, “Instead of trying to save a few hundred rupees, try to save you eyes and skin from the harmful chemicals.”
For bulk orders/details, contact 7416790905
Outlets selling herbal colours
Banjara Hills: Hyderabad Goes Green
Himayathnagar: Almond House
Secunderabad: Our Sacred Space
Kukatpally: Majeera Mall
Gachibowli: Hyderabad Goes Green
What your colours are made up of?
Orange: Anato seeds (These are natural food colour that’s used in biryani)
Green & Yellow: Marigold