Chinese products flood holi markets, No takers for gulal

Raj Kamal Rao
Holi celebrations  at Nandgaon near Mathura.  Photo-PTI

Holi celebrations at Nandgaon near Mathura.
Photo-PTI

Wondering why traditional pichkaris have disappeared from the markets this Holi? Though inexpensive and made from toxic material, Made in China products rule our markets as they are much cheaper when compared to those made by local manufacturers.

Local manufacturers of sprinklers, balloons and colours in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are facing huge losses because of China made products.

Despite government’s efforts to promote ‘Make in India’ products, water guns, wet and dry colours imported from China are selling like hot cakes across India ahead of Holi festival.

Local manufacturers blame the rise in price of raw materials like water-soluble plant pigments and others for slackening business.

“Street vendors do not verify these products. They look for products that are cheaper and sellable. It is the job of the regulatory authority to control these products entering our markets,” Arbind Singh, President, National Association of Street Vendors told RSTV.

Devotees throw color powder (gulal) near Radhe Rani Temple during Lathmar holi festival celebrations in Barsana in Mathura

Devotees throw colour powder (gulal) near Radhe Rani Temple during Lathmar Holi festival celebrations in Barsana, Mathura. Photo-PTI

Photo

Industry body ASSOCHAM’s survey points that Indian manufacturers face losses to the tune of a whopping 75 per cent as only about quarter of their products find favour with customers.

“There is a price differential of over 55 per cent between Chinese Holi colours and sprinklers and those made by local manufacturers which is a primary reason for former’s brisk business,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

As per an estimate over 5,000 colour manufacturing units produce over five lakh kilograms of gulal to be used on Holi across India every year.

Experts say that rampant use of harsh chemicals like acids, alkalis, diesel, engine oil, glass powder, mica damage the skin badly.