Janyaa’s Holi – A Spectacle of Colors, Laughter, and Empowerment

Author – Riddhima Gunuganti

In a world often divided by borders, beliefs, and biases, festivals have an incredible ability to unite people, transcending differences and fostering a sense of community. Holi, the festival of colors, stands out as a vibrant testament to joy, love, and togetherness among the kaleidoscope of celebrations that adorn the global calendar. In recent years, organizations like Janyaa have taken up the mantle of spreading the spirit of Holi, enriching communities with its colorful essence, and promoting cultural harmony.

Janyaa, a non-profit organization committed to enhancing the quality of education in rural India, has been weaving the fabric of change through its innovative initiatives. While its primary focus lies in empowering underprivileged children with quality education by providing them with hands-on learning resources to improve their problem-solving skills, Janyaa recognizes the importance of celebrating cultural heritage to instill a sense of pride and belonging among communities.

The Holi Fest organized by Janyaa was not merely a spectacle of colors but a profound celebration of unity in diversity. Held in Fremont at Washington High School’s soccer field on March 16th, this event brought together children, educators, volunteers, and community members in a joyous extravaganza. One thing that set Janyaa’s Holi Fest apart was its unique way of infusing Holi with a spirit of environmental consciousness while still preserving the authenticity of the festival.

One of the cornerstones of Janyaa’s Holi Fest was its emphasis on eco-friendly celebrations. In a world grappling with environmental degradation, the rampant use of synthetic colors during traditional Holi revelries has raised concerns about pollution and health hazards. Janyaa addressed this issue by promoting the use of organic colors derived from natural sources such as turmeric, beetroot, and marigold petals, and by making sure to biodegradable cups in favor of plastic water bottles. This effort to make everything more sustainable extended to food as well, as leftovers from the event were donated to the nearby homeless shelter. By doing so, the organization not only ensured the safety of participants but also stressed the importance of sustainable practices while allowing participants to enjoy themselves.

In addition, Janyaa’s Holi Fest served as a way to allow participants to have fun and celebrate while helping others. As revelers threw colors and water at each other and spent time dancing and doing social media challenges for prizes, they weren’t just enjoying themselves. They were also raising awareness about the issues Janyaa seeks to resolve and helping to resolve those issues themselves. People realized how their seemingly small purchases and actions were like stones in a still pond as they saw how the money from the relatively cheap tickets and merchandise went straight to Janyaa to help pay for the various kits Janyaa uses to teach underprivileged students in India.   

By raising awareness and fostering happiness, Janyaa’s Holi Fest becomes a catalyst for collective action toward a brighter, and happier future.