Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Natural colors for Holi

dāram presents ‘Rang Dulaar’ – Natural colours for a safe Holi

dāram brings to Hyderabad a range of natural colours under the name Rang Dulaar. Promoted by the Pune based eCoexist these colours are free from any chemical content and have been made by the women of the Malnad Seed Collective, Sirsi. The genesis of Rang Dulaar was the Safe Festivals Campaign run by the Pune based Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group.
The colours also provide income to the women prisoners in Pune's Yerwada Jail. They contain farm produce as well as flowers recycled from Nirmalya collected during Ganesh Chaturthi.
Rang Dulaar is available in five different colours – Red, Yellow, Green, Black and Orange and is available in packets of 250 gm (50 gm each of five colours) and 500 gm (100 gm each of five colours). The colours are made with a range of natural materials that includes turmeric, henna, tulsi, hibiscus, indigo, and cocum.


In 2001, a fact sheet was published by the groups Toxics link and Vatavaran based in Delhi on the chemical dyes used in the festival. The black pastes were found to contain lead oxide which can result in renal failure. Two colors were found to be carcinogenic: silver, with aluminium bromide, and red, with mercury sulphate. The prussian blue used in the blue paste has been associated with contact dermatitis, while the copper sulphate in the green has been documented to cause eye allergy, puffiness and temporary blindness.
The colourant used in the dry colours, also called gulals, was found to be toxic, with heavy metals causing asthma, skin diseases and temporary blindness. Both of the commonly used bases—asbestos or silica—are also associated with health issues.

1) For more information about eCoexist visit
(In Pune : Manisha Gutman. Tel: 09850084383)
2) To watch a video of the Rang Dulaar project visit
3) For more information on the Malnad Forest Garden and Seed Keepers Collective visit


  1. Your 'Rang Dulaar' sounds excellent. Your blog is well done too. Can't wait to visit Daram.

  2. Hey... Great posting on Holi. I am Varun from Kolkata and we celebrate 2 day Holi. One in 11th March for Bengali and another on 12th March for non-bengali. Check my blog for Holi Phagwa Doljatra 2009. Your comment on my Holi postings will be highly appreciated.