Rejoicing the natural way!

In most cultures, colours are considered auspicious, significant and sometimes even sacred. India is known for its celebration of colour in dress, in food, in arts and crafts and in architecture. Originally colours came from natural materials; from minerals in the soil and from fruits flowers and vegetables. Nature is replete with colour, where it serves functions such as directing pollinators in flowers, disguise for insects and animals and is a tool of communication between species.
With the invention of chemicals, human beings started to isolate pigments and use them for various purposes and synthetic colouring led to huge industry for chemical paints and dyes. Some of these chemicals have proven toxic to living beings and unsafe for human use. Additionally, in substances which affect life directly such as in cosmetics or in food colours, the safety of the colours becomes extremely important. Colours need to be free of toxics, especially those found in heavy metals such as Lead and Mercury.
The beauty and energy of natural colours are unsurpassed and the range of tones and shades that occur in Nature are soothing and pleasing to the human eye. 
Understand more about Toxicity
Colours that care
For the past twelve years, eCoexist has been developing and promoting the use of completely natural colours for the festival of Holi under its brand Rang Dulaar, Colours that care. As part of the Safe Festivals campaign that began under the Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, in 2002, eCoexist has been highlighting the impacts of toxic colours on the human body. Based on studies done by Toxics Link, Delhi, eCoexist evolved a range of natural colours, initially with Vanastree, a women farmers group based in Bangalore. Over the years this project has brought safe colours to the Indian market and has also provided a source of income and livelihoods to several challenged groups such as women farmers, mentally and physically challenged groups and to the women prisoners of the Yerawada Central Prison in Pune.
The goodness of natural ingredients
Using turmeric as the base, the Rang Dulaar colours use a range of natural substances such as beetroot, rice flour and indigo to evolve a rainbow of seven coloured powders. Turmeric, which is a medicinal herb, contains an active ingredient called curcumin which is known for its bright golden colour. Turmeric is very good for the health of the skin and in South India women use it regularly.
Indigo is a natural blue dye which is made from the Indigofera plant species which is also known for its medicinal properties. Beetroot with its royal pink colour is a food item commonly used in our daily cuisine.

Read more about Turmeric and its magical properties here 
Our colours are lab tested for to detect the presence of heavy metals such as Lead, Mercury , Cadmium and Arsenic and to ensure that if detected, they are within permissible limits prescribed for drugs and cosmetics. They leave no stain on the skin and therefore can also be played dry, minimising the use of water. 
Livelihoods from colour
The Rang Dulaar Holi colours project continues to provide an income to underprivileged groups. For Holi 2019, the colours have been made by women of the Dhanlakshmi self help group in the village of Ahwalwadi just outside Pune city. Training was given to the women by the eCoexist team, and the colours produced and packaged by them. Offerring them a source of income close to home, the colours will provide them with nearly two months of income generating activity. Since most of the processes of making the colours are similar to cooking, the colours are easy to make and require a basic level of skill.
'Working together on this project has taught us to come together and work towards a goal in a systematic manner. We are learning new skills such as stock management, distribution of labour and time management. We are also learning to pay attention to detail and to watch for errors. It is building our self confidence and our cooperative skills.'
Maya Dhawale, Dhanlakshmi self help group.
Rang Dulaar: a brand that cares
From providing an income to supplying safe natural colours to consumers, the Rang Dulaar colours also go on to bring joy to several underprivileged children every year as sales from the colours contribute towards Holi parties for mentally and physically challenged children. The tradition of playing Holi with special needs kids began in memory of a colleague, Madhulika Goyal, who was deeply passionate about creating an inclusive society and loved playing Holi. Over the years, eCoexist has reached out to several institutions and brought these colours to play with them, creating colourful memories of happiness for them. 
A global celebration!
For a small social enterprise, eCoexist is happy to say that we have been able to send our colours to groups of people across the world for events from Holi parties to colour runs , weddings and even operas. As word spreads of our efforts, volunteers from Los Angeles have specifically come down to Pune to play Holi with us in our way and classical musicians from France have come to play music at our events!! The colours are a symbol of love and twelve years after the creation of eCoexist we continue to bring this joyful product to homes across India!
Play a Natural Holi this year...
Choose to play a completely natural Holi this year ! You can place an order with us for the Rang Dulaar colours or you can also easily make your own colours at home using simple food ingredients. To respect the drought situation in some parts of Maharashtra, we have limited the production of Holi colours this year to a smaller quantity, so do contact us well in advance this year. 
eCoexist Enterprises and eCoexist Foundation are teams based in Pune, India that work on issues of sustainability. They run environment education campaigns, green skills development programmes and promote products that are completely ecosensitive.