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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, March 8:

The Patha Utsav on Sunday will focus on safe and green Holi to make the auspicious occasion more colourful.

Safety concerns, staying away from harmful chemicals and dyes during the Festival of Colours would be the central theme.

Ophthalmologists are, however, of the opinion that by playing herbal Holi and chemical-neutral colours, one can prevent damages to skin, eyes and hair. Even kids without proper parental guidance, may suffer during Holi. All these are to be highlighted during the street festival.

The event will also be focussing on eye care as the World Glaucoma Week starts on March 12. Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. Glaucoma tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life. The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain.

City based leading eye-care hospital will create a general awareness on Glaucoma and also have an awareness on eye-care during Holi.

Bakul Foundation will celebrate Holi or the festival of colours through its Library. The Library will showcase picture books from around the world that celebrates a colourful diversity. For instance, picture books from Latin America use bold and bright colours, whereas picture books using tribal designs from Africa or Australia use a lot of Black and other solid colours. The picture books from different cultures of the world using different illustrative traditions would be a celebration of colours as well.

India Craft Nation, a city-based organisation promoting art will organise a “Live Painting’’ programme near the two stages. In this artists will be doing the painting work along with the singers as a `jugalbandi’and later they will display them to the visitors. The street-side art works would also be based on Holi theme.

BDA Additional Commissioner (Enforcement) Bhabani Shankar Chayani, the Nodal Officer of Patha Utsav, said “this Sunday we are determined to educate all on safe Holi and an event without harmful chemicals. All the songs are likely to be based on Holi themes as the next day the city would be soaked in the colour of love and affection as the festival is a major celebration irrespective of religion, caste, creed and colour.’’

The city-based street festival, which is getting 50,000-70,000 visitors per week, has become a major place to disseminate social awareness besides non-motorised transport, cycling, skating and physical activities. Of late awareness on Swachha Bharat Mission also gained a fan following among the participants. Studies also have found that of all the age groups, youth form the major composition of the Patha Utsav crowd.