Everyone knows that ‘gulal’ powder is not really made of roses – it is made with chemicals that cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. Every year on Holi, the media releases reports about the dangers of chemical powders, but, due to being cheap and easily available, the chemical colours are still widely used.
Santosh Mishra presenting herbal gulal powder to Jagannath Poddar
Now there is even more reason to buy herbal gulal powder because, herbal powder is being made from flowers that have been offered to the deities of Vrindavan’s temples. Yellow colour is being made from marigold flowers and rose petals are being turned into pink powder.
At a meeting in January, a partnership between government departments, temples and local NGOs was formed to organize a flower recycling plant in Vrindavan. Friends of Vrindavan has been active in collecting flowers which will soon be processed by the widows of Vrindavan. Widows will separate the flowers and learn how to make products such as incense using the petals of different flowers.
Flower recycling is already being done in Kannauj and, packets of herbal gulal powder which was made from Vrindavan’s flowers and sent to Kannauj for processing reached Vrindavan just in time for Holi.
Yesterday, Shri Santosh Mishra, who is in charge of the Mahila Sadan Widows Ashram in Chaitanya Vihar, presented two packets of the herbal gulal powder to Jagannath Poddar, the Director of Friends of Vrindavan.
Vrindavan’s Flower Recycling plant is expected to become operational in the coming months and the products will be marketed as ‘VrajGandha’.