After 2 years of falling sales, gulal traders see silver lining in polls, drop in Covid cases


Recently concluded polls and dwindling coronavirus infections have given a much-needed boost to gulal traders in the state capital, Lucknow, ahead of the Holi festival.

Gulal or dry color powder is widely used during Holi.

Gulal traders, especially those selling herbal gulal, have seen an increase in orders received this year.

”Gulal’s business has been severely affected over the past two years due to the pandemic. This year, in the absence of major restrictions related to COVID-19, we have started receiving orders again,’ Subodh Kumar Sharma, a gulal trader in Lucknow’s Old Town district, told PTI.

Sharma, who supplies gulal to several small businesses in the city, said the demand for herbal gulal has increased significantly this time.

“Everyone is asking for herbal gulal this year. I think the demand for herbal gulal is almost equal to that of traditional gulal. We are struggling to meet orders for herbal gulal,” Sharma said.

Unlike the traditional gulal which is easily available in the market, the herbal variant is made using non-toxic herbal dye.

“The use of herbal dye makes the herbal gulal non-toxic and non-irritating upon application. Herbal gulal, however, costs more due to the use of herbal dyes,” explained SK Barik, director of the Lucknow-based National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI).

Yawner Ali Shah, the founder of AMA herbals which produces herbal gulal in Lucknow, said, “We have seen a marked increase in the demand for herbal gulal in the Indian market.

“This year too, the demand for herbal gulal has increased. This reflects how our society is becoming aware of the harms of synthetic dyes,’ Shah said, adding that people should ask for the source of the natural dye and verify its authenticity before buying herbal gulal.

The recently concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections have also given a boost to gulal traders.

BJP supporters held Holi events to celebrate their victory and placed bulk orders for gulal.

Hathras-based Ratan Bihari Agarwal, which is one of the largest gulal producers in Uttar Pradesh, told PTI, “We have received orders from different towns in Uttar Pradesh from people who hold Holi events to celebrate the BJP’s victory in the UP elections. Orders from these individuals or groups account for approximately 25% of our total orders. Most of these orders are from herbal gulal.” PTI CDN ABN CK

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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