PANAJI: “There exists a huge demand for colours in State during the Hindu month of Falguna for the Holi festival celebration. The chemical dyes we use for making colours for celebrating Holi are very harmful to health. Not just this, but these chemical-based colours mix with the soil and water and contaminate our natural resources. Therefore, in order to safeguard the natural resources and reduce the adverse effect of chemicals on human health, I thought of making colour using natural resources as a key ingredient”, informed nature lover Suryakant Gaonkar of Bhuipal Sattari.
Suryakant is naturally into making various colours, from forest fruits, leafy vegetables, turmeric, maize, and seeds, and his love for nature continues.
He has been into the making of these natural colours for many years, and he informed that he’s been selling these colours under the banner of ‘Sanjeevani Rang’.
Adding that the chemical colours may cause skin disorders, allergies and asthma, Suryakant said his intention behind making natural colours is to promote eco-friendly products.
A promoter of organic products, Suryakant is a Patanjali Yoga Samiti trainer, and he said he was inspired by Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar to make these colours. Since then, he has manufactured seven types of pure natural colours at home.
He said he uses this purpose of using green leafy vegetables, Kesar, beetroot, hibiscus, roses, pudina, Gulmohar, and neem. “These ingredients cannot be dried in the sun as the products become black. Also, they can’t be dried in the open at night because of dew. Drying them carefully is of the utmost importance”.
Furthermore, Gaonkar said he is fond of going on a nature trail. “At times when I used to go on the trail, I always looked for colour in wild fruits and seeds. The seeds of the orange trees near the river bank are very useful for dying”.
He also added that orange seeds, turmeric, maize seeds, spinach, carrots and green plants can effectively enhance flavour and make colour for Holi. “Orange seeds are also used to make syrup. These are not harmful to the body. Orange seed powder is used as a colour, along with the syrup, in food recipes, i.e. while making sugar rice, coloured plain rice and others. It produces four colours: green, yellow, blue, and saffron. In the early days, we used to go around the forest to collect orange fruits. In such a fashion, trees that we think are not useful can be brought into use”, said Gaonkar.