As suggested by National Geography we are all going to travel to ‘off the beaten path’ AGAR, stay with locals and help local economy.
Here is the timetable of our 1st Meet.
3 pm Onwards:
Ceremonial Welcome and Introductions
Watching sunset from hills and planting seed bombs
Bonfire, musical evening and dinner
10 am Onwards:
Presentation by Sparks.
Sparks show casing, donating and selling their products.
Making Seed Bombs
Star gazing and dinner
10 am Onwards:
Educational Community art work on every surface of Masti ki Paathshala adding colour , life and usefulness to the place
Visit rain water harvesting structures & carpet weaving
Rajasthani Dinner with folk music and dance
10 am Onwards:
Visit Sariska National Park
Closing ceremony & Oath taking at Sariska Guest House
Lets change the monochromatic surroundings of Agar/ Masti Ki Pathshala to a colourful, lively place by the collective’s effort of all and may our travel be safe and compassionate.
Be Aware of Holi Colors !
Almost all colors available during Holi are concoctions of chemicals thus toxic, allergic and carcinogenic. Any one can come
up with natural and attractive soft, and good for skin colors. All that is needed is a visit to a forest,a garden and a kitchen to collect leaves,
seeds, bark of trees, flowers, fruits and peels.
The 6 steps to make your own colors are:
Dry the color source in shade.
Powder the dried material coarsely.
Soak the powder in water for 30 minutes.
Boil this water for 45 minutes to an hour.
Cool it, filter it and keep it till you want to use it.
Dry the residue in shade. Powder it finely and this becomes the dry holi color, ready to be used.
Chemical Holi Colors
If however you still prefer the colors from the market then please remember that all three categories –Pastes,
Dry powders and Wet colors have health hazards. The most dangerous however are the pastes.Silver, Gold, Metallic,
Green, Blue and Black pastes available in the market are all extremely dangerous. The cost varies from rupees 5 to
rupees 50per tin containing 100 grams of the mixed paste.
The colorants are also available in small pouches which can be mixed in any type of oil
or water depending upon weather it has to be used as a paste or wet color by the user.
Cost of these pouches is from rupees 2 to rupees 10.
When you smear someone ared in pink, you actually daubed someone with Rhodamine B,
if the color is violet or blue it actually is Methyl Violet, green is Malachite Green and
yellow is Auramine. All these are prohibited under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The two components of Dry Powders are Base and the Colourant. Depending upon the
quality of Holi Powder the base can be Asbestos Talc, Chalk or Cornstarch. All will adversely affect us.
Chemical and their health hazards
Engine oil + Lead Oxide
Engine oil +Copper Sulphate
Eye allergy, puffiness and temporary blindness
Engine oil + Aluminium bromide
Engine oil + Perssian Blue
Engine oil + Mercury Sulphite
Highly Toxic Skin cancer
In addition pure coal tar, discarded diesel
oil and greese are also used as Holi rubs. To clear the skin of all
these rubs keriosine oil is the most commonly used remover.
Re-kindle the Original Holi Spirit
A festival intended to commemorate the conventional historic triumph of good over evil has been transmutated over time, assisted by a strong element
of mass-ignorance, ironically, to what seems to be the reciprocated dominance of evil (in the form of chaotically aggressive unruliness) over good
(a happy, colorful yet peaceful celebration). The unobtrusive, incurrence, eye pleasing
natural colors have been replaced by a multitude of toxic, carcinogenic-hazardous, eye-irritating (even to the point of blindness) chemical ‘colors’.
Make your own colors
Dry colors have two components. Base and Colorant. The natural bases can be made from the following:
Grounded Orange peels, Lemon Peels, Sandal Wood, Rose Water.
Natural colors can even be made at home without much toil and effort.
Given below is a list of natural colors (along with their sources) and natural bases.
We can thus make our own natural colors by mixing these colors with the bases.
Natural products and their Colors :
1. Saffron - Brilliant yellow
2. Turmeric - Yellow & Orange Brown
3. Henna - Orange Red
4. Manjistha - Rust Red
5. Katha - Brown
6. Beet Root - Magenta
7. Indigo - Rich Blue
8. Chlorophyll - Green
Here are the colors for people who do not understand science:
1. Mix a spoon of powdered haldi in a cup of flour (atta/besan/maida), talcum powder for yellow color, which is also great for your skin. Haldi powder can also be mixed in water to make a wet color.
2. Use henna/mehandi powder, separately or mixed with flour (as above).
3. Chopped pieces of Beet root soaked in water for a few hours give a wonderful magenta color.
4. Put tea or coffee in warm water. Let it cool and use.
5. Put flowers of Semul/ Tesu or Palas/ Dhak (tree which are common in India and bloom during March) in water and boil. Leave overnight to obtain a saffron color.
6. Mix lime (chuna which is put in leaves) with haldi powder to get a deep red color.
The above are just a few ways to make natural colors. Ask your parents and grandparents for more! Experiment with different seasonal flowers
(like marigold, harshingar), fruits & vegetables (grapes, spinach, rind of pomegranate), leaves (eucalyptus) and explore the fascinating word of natural colors.
A cottage industry be setup, generating harmless natural colors to replace the current toxin laden and thus aid an attempt to resurrect yet another
rigor-mortified festival. The introduction of natural colors should be supplemented by a complete ban on the current colors in market,
heavy in concentrations of Sudan Red, Metanil Yellow, Melachile Green and Salts of metals like lead, chromium, mercury, etc.
Gulal Aspiration: A Festival Hazard!
Bajaj Monika, MD Kumar Viredra,
MD Malik Iqbal, Ph.D. Arora Praveeen, MD Dubey N K,
From: The Department of Pediatrics, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital,
Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi And
Vatavaran (NGO- Working on socio-environmental Issues)
The inhalation of noxious chemical substances and heavy metals is a known cause of chemical pneumonitis
and acute as well as chronic lung injury. Occupational exposure is more often a cause for the same. However,
significant exposure to chemical may occur due to accidental inhalation during domestic activities, hobbies,
and festivals (1,2). We report here a case of accidental “gulal” aspiration during Holi festival.
A previously well, six year old boy, presented with sudden onset of cough and respiratory distress following accidental aspiration
of “gulal” during Holi festival. He was treated for one day at a nearby private hospital, before being referred to Kalawati Saran
Children’s Hospital, New Delhi.
On arrival, patient was conscious but excessively irritable and had marked respiratory distress. His heart rate was 140 beats per
minute, respiratory rate 96 breaths per minute, with marked intercostals and subcostal recession, but there was no cyanosis.
Blood pressure was 100/70 mm Hg. On auscultation of chest, air entry was markedly diminished with bilateral ronchi. Clinical examination
of other system was unremarkable.
Investigations revealed hemoglobin – 13 gm/dl, TCL-24000cells/Cmm with 66% polymorphs, blood urea-59 mg/dl, serum creatinine – 0.5 mg/dl,
serum Na+ - mEq/L, serum K+ -5.36 mEq/L. Chest X-ray revealed bilateral patchy pneumonitis especially involving right middle and lower zones.
Arterial bloods gas analysis revealed pH- 7.365, pO2 58.2 pCO2 –49.6, HCO3-20.4, O2 saturation –88.7%.
Patient was treated symptomatically with humidified oxygen, intravenous fluids, and salbutamol and ipratropium bromide nebulisations.
He was stared on I/V hydrocortisone (10 mg/Kg/day), crystalline penicillin (2 lac IL/Kg/day) and chloromycetin (100 mg/Kg/day) in divided doses.
Due to clinical suspicion of supper-added infection, antibiotics were changed to I/V cerftriazone (100 mg/Kg/day) and netilmycin (7.5 mg/Kg/day)
on day three. Special attention was given to chest physiotherapy, and 3% saline nebulisation was given to encourage expectoration and removal of
aspirated substance from the repiratory tract.
On day four the patient developed subcutaneous emphysema over chest and neck. Repeat chest X-ray showed bilateral extensive pneumonitis and
mediastinal emphysema (Figure-1). Patient however did not require any surgical intervention for the same.
Patient subsequently maintained arterial gas (pH-7.51, pO2-70.5, pCO2-36.4, HCO3-25.6, O2 saturation-94.4%)and improve steadily.
He was discharged after two week of therapy. After stabilization of his respiratory distress, spirometric assessment of pulmonary
function (PFT) revealed severe restricted pattern (FVC- 0.54L, 45.95% of predicted value; FEV1 0.54L, 52.5% of predicted; FEF25-75%-0.68L/sec,
52.32% of predicted). At one month follow up patient was asynptomatic, chest X-ray had normalized, spirometry revealed however continued to show
a restrictive pattern, thought less in severity (FVC- 0.89L, FEV1- 0.89L, FEF25-75%- 1.21L/sec).
Six month later spirometry revealed normalization of pulmonary function (FVC- 1.16L, FEV1- 1.04L, FEF25-75%- 1.45L/sec).
The dangers associated with aspiration of foreign material into the airway have been chronicled in medical literature for over 350 years and airways
foreign bodies continue to be a problem frequently encounted by pediatric practitioners. Foreign body aspiration is most frequent in the 1-5 years age
group, with 85% cases occurring in children less than three years of age.
Item frequently found in the environment of a child, such as nuts, shells, candies, grapes, pears, jewelry, small toys etc.
are the ones that pose a risk for entering and occluding the airway. Aspiration of powder like substances expect for talcum powder
and soot in burn injury, are less frequently encountered in children.
Gulal, a seemingly innocuous powder substance has been traditionally used, to smear over face during the festival of Holi,
since ancient time. Environmental experts and doctors are only to aware of the hazards of these innocent looking colors, namely
triggering of skin allergies, impairment of vision, precipitation of asthmatic attacks etc. this is for the first time, that we
encountered a child with massive aspiration and restrictive pulmonary disease due to gulal.
In our case, the gulal could not be procured and no attempt had been made at bronchoscopic aspiration and of the material
aspirated, in view of the extreme sickness of child and delay in arrival to our hospital after the incident. Chemical nature of the
same is therefore difficult child to comment upon. However, one may hypothesize, that lung injury is caused both by the physical i.e.
powdery, nature of the substance as well as heavy metals, chemicals and hydrocarbons that go into the preparation of these colors.
Powder like consistency of the gulal, result in it being drawn into distal airways almost instantly like in the case of any other
powder and this probably causes acute respiratory distress, obstruction, atelecatesis, hyperinflation, and air-leak. With the help
of a non-government organization (Vatavaran), chemical analysis of different sample of used during Holi was done. Summery of that is
shown in table-1. It seems possible that the material aspirated by this child, had traces of lead and mercury. Review of literature
revealed case report of mercury inhalation injury, which presented in similar manner with respiratory distress, Air-leak and restrictive lung disease (3).
We managed our patient symptomatically. Systematic steroids have been used but without definite role to reduce inflammatory
process and fibrosis in chemical pneumonitis (4). They have of late proven to be of benefit in patients with mercury induced acute
lung injury (4). In our patient, they may have benefited by reducing airways inflammation as well bronchospasm.
Air-lack can occur in cases of chemical pneumonitis especially those resulting from hydrocarbons aspiration or mercury
vapor inhalation (5). Conservative management is advocated for the same, and patients usually improve, as was witnessed in our case too.
Act Now-Replicate the Models
Convert public squalors to green settlements.
Make multiple imapired as the vehicle of change.
Help students become entrepreneurs.
Bridge the gap-each family teach one girl child.
Create people's movement for a clean -green life through theatre.
Help mitigate rural migration to cities.
Start Aquaponics for self sustenance.
Understand animals, take them seriously and care for them scientifically.