Vrindavan, Mar 21 : A temple in Vrindavan is campaigning for the use of eco-friendly herbal colours during Holi, the festival of colours.
The Krishna temple makes harmless dyes from flowers and distributes it among devotees.
"The tradition of playing Holi with colours made from 'Tesoo' flowers has been going on for 250 years, the preparation for which starts 15 days ahead of the festival. The flowers are brought from Kolkata and the workers from nearby villages come here to make the colour. Flowers are boiled in water to which saffron and rose water is added and then the colour is taken by the temple people for spraying," said Gopi Goswami, a member, of the temple committee.
Most of the colours sold in markets are oxidized metals or industrial dyes and are harmful to skin. Slowly people are realising the side effects of these colours like skin allergies to cancer, eye irritation and blindness.
In contrast to which is the natural colour made from 'Tesoo' flowers, which is non-toxic and does not cause any harm to the skin upon contact and the devotees are quite happy to be splashed with these colours.
"These are very fragrant and non-toxic colours. They don't cause any skin allergy when applied," said Ridhi Aggrwal, a devotee.
Traditionally, the festival is known to have its roots in the celebration of the spring colours, as this is the time when the season is in full bloom.
The royals and the courtiers in olden times took the advice of traditional medicine men who concocted extracts of the season's fruits, flowers, roots, leaves and seeds to make colours.