Bengaluru: Holi hai!! And instead of colours that not only stain but also harm, this Holi has seen an eco-friendly touch! Making a small beginning in the right direction were two doctors, Dr Sivakumar T and Dr Deepak Jayarajan of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services who gave twenty NIMHANS patients a very special Holi - getting them involved in the making of eco-friendly Holi colours.
As Dr Sivakumar explained, "We have created this eco-friendly product by recycling discarded flowers from temples, wedding halls and other places. After which they were dried and we also add food grade colours for that extra vibrance."
With the help of 20 patients with psychiatric disability, they were able to produce 97 kilograms of eco-friendly colour. "People with mental retardation, mental illness and also the day boarders were involved in the production process. Some of our chronic in-patients were also involved," he said. The doctors, however, ensured that all the patients were above 18 years of age.
Out of 97 kg, 40 kg has already been sold. "We used flowers like roses, chrysanthemums and marigolds. And by purchasing these products one is making a positive contribution to their economic empowerment," Dr Sivakumar summed up. They came up with the idea after a symposium conducted by an NGO Craftizen "That got us thinking as to what can be done with such people and their attention and focus level," says Dr Sivakumar. This year, his team was supported by Craftizen which had put in a seed fund of Rs 1 lakh for the project.
Hazards of chemical colour Dr Sonali Muralidhar, Opthalmologist from The People Tree Group of hospitals has advised against using chemical colours during Holi. "Chemical dyes and synthetic colours are being sold in the market. These may contain dangerous toxins. They may casue skin problems. Eyes are extremely vulnerable and need to be protected. These harmful colours could result in eye-infection."...