By Suresh Soni
Rajkot, March 20 : Makers of Gulal powder in Rajkot, known to be one of the hubs of dye production in Gujarat, have launched a special Gulal from talcum powder on Holi that is claimed to be skin-friendly.
It is claimed to be devoid of harmful substances unlike other Gulals that usually lead to skin problems, asthma or temporary blindness.
Rajkot caters to 60 percent of the demand in Gujarat for colours. And, on this Holi too the Gulal manufacturers and traders have remained highly occupied meeting customers' demands ahead of Holi.
"As many customers' complain about Gulal from Rajasthan, Ahmedabad and Indore due to its affect on skin. We thought of some Gulal, similar to Ponds' talcum powder for this year's Holi. This would be natural and would not harm the skin. The colour powder made from it would be very good," said Bhavesh Adhiya, a manufacturer of Gulal, Rajkot
"For the past three years we have tried it as an experiment and the response has been encouraging. The harmful chemicals found in the colours can cause cancer in 10-15 years but not so with the talcum powder-based Gulal," he added.
Talcum powder-based Gulal has found ready users among womenfolk since the colour ingredients used in this are herbal. In Saurashtra region where Rajkot falls, women regale playing Holi with colour and water.
"Holi brings happiness to everybody in life. This time herbal colours have come therefore nobody's skin will be affected. This year Holi should be celebrated in proper spirit and these colours won't affect the eyes and skin of children. I will celebrate Holi with enthusiasm and I hope everyone does the same with joy," said Preeti, a buyer of Gulal.
Consumption of Gulal in Rajkot alone is estimated to be about 5,000 kilograms whereas it is believed to be over ten times in rest of the Gujarat.
The Gulal products of Rajkot are well known for their quality and wide range not only in Gujarat but outside the State too like Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
For the wholesale and retail traders, these products are available in bags of 5 to 100 kilograms.
Of late, the non-resident Indians (NRIs) residing abroad too have taken a fancy to celebrate all Indian festivals too. Holi is among them and a good amount of Gulal from Rajkot is also exported.
For instance, importers and traders in Indian commodities in the Middle East have placed orders for the Rajkot Gulal.
The city has nearly 50 manufacturing units where the process of various Gulal combinations commences two months prior to the Holi festival.