With Holi just a day away, it is important to remember that revelry and celebrations must be accompanied by common sense. Consideration and caution are both needed to keep this festival of colours from turning sour.
Just two years ago, 150 children landed in hospital with ailments ranging from nausea, stomach problems and skin rashes due to colour poisoning. Holi is a celebration of colour, so let us not mar it by incidents which cast an unnecessary pall on a joyous occasion. Avoid mindless application of colour, and stay away from spurious colours which are dangerous. Instead, buy good quality colour to avoid skin and eye problems.
A big problem during this festival is the sexual molestation of women, who are targeted with water balloons, followed by lewd verbal remarks on the roads. Let the law come down heavily on such behaviour if it happens; culprits must be caught and given harsh punishment.
The water balloon menace has also dogged train commuters for years, where balloons are hurled at commuters standing near the doors of moving trains. This is merriment symptomatic of a sick society, laughing at the fact that a commuter has been taken by surprise, lost an eye or suffered some other grievous injury in the name of Holi.
This year, it is heartening to see there is so much awareness about an eco-friendly Holi in the run-up to this festival. The hot button issue is, of course, water conservation. Clubs and several housing societies across the city are pressing their members to play a waterless Holi in order to conserve water. Keeping in mind the drought situation in the state, this needs to be constantly reinforced so that people take greater responsibility.
With ‘go green’ being the mantra, let us put our foot on the accelerator when it comes to water conservation. In fact, it is time to extend this philosophy of environmental awareness, safety and sensitivity to other festivals through the year.
Wish you a very happy Holi.