Mumbaiites have largely refrained from buying water balloons and pichkaris this Holi. Shopkeepers confirmed that they had witnessed a 30 per cent drop in sales of gulal, pichkaris and balloons this year as compared to last year.
Many citizens said they had decided to follow the advice of the government and private organisations and not waste water, as the state was suffering from one of the worst droughts in many decades.
Also, this time Holi falls around the exam season. Some shopkeepers said increased duty on plastic goods meant they have to now pay higher rates to wholesale dealers to buy pichkaris. This had further dented profit margins.
“There is a lot of focus on being eco-friendly this year. Also, the cost of a small pichkari has increased from Rs 100 to Rs 130-140,” said, Iten Vora, a shop owner.
With schools initiating awareness campaigns about toxic colours, children are convincing their parents to buy only eco-friendly colours, even if they are twice as expensive.