Green Defenders

Eco-friendly Holi

Eco-friendly Holi

-Prajakta B Rain

Holi is rightly known as the festival of colours, it signifies  the  arising of good over devil represented  as holika dahan.  In Sanskrit the festival  is termed as ‘dhulivandana’ and in Bengali and Orriya “dolayatra”.  The story goes that Hiranyakashyapu the king of demons considered himself as supreme God ,and he banned the worship of Vishnu in his kingdom. Prahlad was his son who continued worshiping Vishnu.  Hirnyakashyapu made repeated  attempts to kill Pralhad and took the help of his sister Holika, who had a boon that she cannot be touched by fire.  However  the unexpected happened and Holika turns into ashes, Pralhad emerged victorious.  Holi is celebrated in memory of this day. This festival was celebrated by our ancestors in order to unite the society, they used to clean their colonies and houses and make a bonfire of the waste collected. Burnt along with neem leaves and dry cow dung, the fumes also served the purpose of purifying the air around.
The festivities have now taken a life of its own and it is not unusual to find people cutting down trees for making the Holi bonfire.

A survey said that near about 35,000 bonfire happen in a single state and each bonfire needs more than 100 kg of wood. Artificial colours red, pink ,yellow ,blue ,green, black, silver and golden that contain poisonous chemicals like aluminium, bromide, mercury, lead-oxide (causes skin disease, eye infection and respiratory disorders) are used with abandon. Thousands of litres of water go waste in the water pumps.  Soil and water pollution take place because of these chemicals and fumes.

Palas Flower

Eco-friendly Ganpati and Diwali are slowly catching on and we can celebrate eco-friendly Holi too,  by avoiding  tree cutting and using artificial dry colours. We can also make symbolic bonfire or small bonfire; avoid separate bonfire for every house and lit one small bonfire for whole society or city. Instead of trees we can use waste material to burn.  One single plant gives oxygen which is enough for 10 people and store 2.6 tonnes of CO2. we can easily make natural herbal colours at home only by using flowers and fruits.

Red----------------------------------------Red hibiscus, Rakatchandan
Blue---------------------------------------Blue Jacaranda

Celebrating Holi in an eco –friendly way, also means victory of good over evil.
 ( If you know people who work for wildlife rescue and conservation share with us by mail by sending  photos and a paragraph about the work, information, achievement in wildlife conservation etc, so that others get motivated to do the same. Thank you.

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