Campaign on issues related to environment a social behaviour are being used as an effective communication strategy. ‘Say No to Fire Crackers’; ‘Say No to Polybags’; ‘Is your vehicle PUC checked’ are some campaigns that are popular in many large Indian twons and cities. A uniqueness that binds these campaigns are that they involve children as motivators of change. This is the reason why these campaigns have been successful in bringing about attitudinal changes.
We share with you some ideads on celebrating a non-toxic Holi next year.

Most Holi colours sold in the market are oxidized metals or industrial dyes mixed with engine oil. Here are a few examples: the green comes from copper sulphate, purple is chromium iodide, silver is aluminum bromide, black is lead oxide and shiny colours are result of powdered glass being added to the colours. All these are toxic and can result in anything from skin allergies to cancer, eye irritation to blindness... When washed, they enter the Yamuna or other rivers and the soil, and cause even more pollution.
Do all our festivals and celebrations have to be at the cost of our environment and life?

No! There are simple, cheap yet beautiful environment and human friendly colours with which you can enjoy your Holi. To get you started, lists of few colours that can be made easily at home are given below.

· Mix a spoon of powdered haldi in a cup of flour (atta/ besan / maida), talcum powder for dry yellow colour, which is also great for your skin. Haldi powder can also be mixed in water to make a wet colour.

· Use henna / mehandi powder, separately or mixed with flour (as above).

· Chopped pieces of Beet root soaked in water for a few hours give a wonderful magenta colour.

· Put tea or coffee in warm water. Let it cool and use.

· Put flowers of Semul / Tesu or Palas / Dhak (trees which are common in India and bloom during March) in water and boil. Leave overnight to obtain a saffron colour.

· Mix lime (chuna which is put in betel leaves) with haldi powder to get a deep red colour.

The above are just a few ways to make natural colours. 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 world of natural colours.



The night set in,
there is an expected silence in the air,
you can almost hear the dropping of a pin,
apart from the stray dogs, howling without a care.
But suddenly, it happens, a loud Boom,
followed by a second one, and a third,
up into the air, rocket zooms,
while in the distance, more crackers
are heard.
This is the scene every "Diwali" brings,
but, along with the lights and fond embraces,
somewhere in a hospital, a telephone rings,
and a desperate parent, cries about burns, cuts and other such cases.
Now the scene shifts to another place,
a dark, and dingy one,
Over-crowding with kids of all ages,
with minds and bodies, deprived of any kind of fun.
"Their little fingers work continuously,
making as many crackers, as they can,
their frail bodies shake occasionally,
with coughs, which the crackers fan.
Some of the kids have seen merely five
some, as much as fifteen,
but all, have one or the other disease,
which makes one doubt whether they’ll
live to see fifty.
So, is it really worth it ?
All these loud, and unnecessary
so make a resolution, and keep it,
that we’ll say ‘NO’ to crackers !!!

              Bidisha Bharali
                          XI ‘B’, DPS, Noida

How clean is the Water you are Drinking?
How safe is the Air you are Breathing?
Check it out with TARA Pollution Testing Kits!

is a brand new portable Air Pollution Testing kit which is low on price, high on quality and can be easily operated even by school children. A timer version of the kit is also on sale.
is a cost effective, portable, compact and easy to operate water quality testing kit developed
by Development Alternatives. Jal TARA can assess 14 essential parameters to ensure that the water is fit for drinking.

Two mini versions of Jal-TARA kit are also on sale.
Version I – Tests for pH and Fluoride
Version II – Tests for pH, Fluoride and Nitrate

For details, please contact:

TARA Environment Monitoring Facility, Development Alternatives
B-32 Tara Crescent,
 Qutab Institutional Area,
 New Delhi - 110 016,
Tel: +91-11-685-1158, 696-7938;
 Fax: +91-11-686-6031;


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