Say Yes to Dry Holi this Year

Shahdev Amte ties a torn dusty cloth on his head and wears his old sandals. He sips a small amount of water from the pot, conscious to avoid the urge of drinking the last pot left and walks out of his hut towards the local dam in his district. He has got accustomed to the scorching heat and his skin cannot be damaged further, given the state is already is in – wrinkled and sun burnt. He looks a decade older than 35. His eyes are dry and filled with hopelessness. As he passes through his barren field, he observes the deep cracks in the soil and the wasted crop seeds which couldn’t blossom due to bad rains. This is the third year this has happened – both kharif and rabi crops haven’t grown and the amount of debt has surpassed a formidable level.  He wonders if there is any other way out of this debt – the government provides a relief of Rs. 1,00,000 on suicide cases; but his debt is more than that. As he reaches the dam, he checks the small amount of water left in the reservoir – close to 6% left. How are we going to make it till June, he wonders.

Some Facts –

  • Maharashtra is facing an unprecedented drought, especially in Marathwada region – CM Devendra Fadnavis
  • Finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar would present the state budget on March 18 and the government’s focus would be on the measures to mitigate the agrarian crisis brought about by successive droughts.
  • The state government has provided Rs 12,000 crore for drought-mitigation in the last one-and-a-half years. The outlay for this year might be more



What are we celebrating?

When our own people are dying due to scarcity of water and failed crops, what are we exactly celebrating this holi? Why such a waste of water which can be used for much better purposes?

We want to do something; but don’t know what. We want to bring a change; but don’t know how! Well, here’s a chance to do something for yourself and for others – Say Yes to Dry Holi this year – avoid using water and convince friends and society members to do the same.

Lets voice solidarity with our farmers and  celebrate life this Holi. Let us shun the use of water and stick to playing dry holi – this is the least we can do from our side and cause an impact.


Will this cause an impact?

Approximately 60 families of three persons each will be able to get water for the entire year if potable and non-potable water tankers are not used in Mumbai for playing holi. (Calculations in the image below) So think about the impact if entire country stands with the farmers!


These numbers do not represent the total amount of water used by Mumbai during Holi – 450 tankers is a low end estimate as majority tanker owners refused to share details of tankers they supplied for rain dance afraid of BMC taking action against them.
With rising number of societies and bigger budgets for grand celebrations, this estimate will go much higher this year.



What I urge you to do:

  1. Sign up for the petition supporting Dry Holi here. All you have to do is provide your name and email ID.
  2. Share this message to all your friends and family members so that they can also be a part of this initiative.
  3. Convince your building secretary to organise a meeting and spread this message in your society. Ask them to sign the petition.
  4. Share your thoughts on water conservation this Holi with the hashtag – #SayYesToDryHoli on your fb wall and twitter.

Tips on how to save water during Holi

# Use water only for bathing once you are done playing with dry colours
# Prefer natural colours as they wash off easily and save water

# Stop playing with balloons
# Play with colours in outdoors so that water usage could be prevented in washing the house floor
# Apply oil on hair and some moisturising lotion to prevent skin from staining

This is just the beginning

We need to look around and find other ways to save water during our routine life too.


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