Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
After failing to celebrate Holi on a large scale for the past two years due to the corona outbreak, this year Indoreans are ready to enjoy the Holi festival with fervor and color now that the fear of disease has receded . Residents are in the colorful markets and buy “gulal” in large quantities. Many families organize large gatherings and Holi parties. Preparations are underway to release the colorful “Gar” in the city again.
After the chief minister announced the celebration of Holi, the removal of the night curfew and the announcement of Gar, the market was filled with excitement.
Shortage of colors and water gun
Markets are short of gulal and squirt guns as vendors have not stocked up this year. “For the past two years, we had been sourcing and waiting for customers, but a corona outbreak would ruin our business,” said Keshav Dhopi, a salesman.
He added that this year sellers did not want to suffer losses. “Until January and even February, we were expecting another corona spike, so we weren’t sure whether to order bulk colors or a water gun,” said Himanshu Rao, another supplier.
Now, the price of Holi colors and squirt guns has multiplied in Delhi-Mumbai, from where vendors usually buy the items in bulk. “We will no longer be able to buy the items and sell them here for profit,” said Jivesh Seth, a seller. He added that the demand for herbal dyes has increased in Indore over the past two years, and there is a shortage in this segment as well. “Synthetic colors are available, but no one wants them. They also have specific flavor requirements in the gulal,” Seth said.
Low Supply, High Demand for Water Guns
The biggest problem sellers face is with water guns. Importing squirt guns from China is completely prohibited and this leaves very little room for sellers to secure the product from other sources.
“Factories in Gujarat are not inclined to supply us as transportation is expensive due to rising petroleum products and rising cost of plastic,” said Ashish Pathak, a water gun salesman.
The gulal of Rs 48 per kg is sold in bulk at Rs 65 and Rs 76 per kg this year and even at Rs 95 per kg. The price of squirt guns generally available in the wholesale market, ranging from Rs. 100 to Rs. 450, has doubled.
Posted: Sunday 06 March 2022, 00:06 IST