For many, the festival of Holi is purely about fun and frolic. But for women across India, it isnt always unadulterated by fears of harassment. Horror stories of groping, catcalling, and other forms of harassment often make many women worry about stepping out in the crowds and simply enjoying the festival of colour unabashedly. However, with liberalisation and changing times, many people are questioning what Holi should truly stand for. Is it just about smearing colours on each others faces? Is it an excuse to assault women under the guise of painted skin? Holi should be fun for all, but most importantly it should be safe and spread the feeling of joyousness in people who come together, irrespective of their religious beliefs to bond over festivities. This year, lets reflect on how women are celebrating Holi while bonding with other women, and feeling safe and seen in the blissful female dynamics they share. Vrindavan Widows got drenched in colours While earlier women whose husbands had passed away were shunned from celebrating Holi with colours, recently, the change has been vividly evident. This year at Vrindavans Gopinath Mandir, several widows gathered to shatter the stigmas still associated with widowhood. The organisers, Sulabh International had arranged for gulal for the women who are often expected by our society to live life without colour. The women must have been a sight to behold as they vivaciously splashed colours on each other, played with flower petals, sang and danced to bhajans, and relished mouth-watering sweets. Rajasthani tribal women are making and selling organic gulal In the tribal town of Kotda, Rajasthan, women have joined hands to financially empower themselves by making herbal Holi colours. They are using beetroot for red, roses for pink, palash flowers for yellow and so on. Further, the women's self-help groups (SHGs) are ensuring that these organic Holi colours reach the target group, that is, tourists in Udaipur. These women are not just promoting a chemical-free Holi but also sending out a message that when women come together, incredible things happen. Women celebrate phoolon ki Holi in Bhopal In the small town of Binaganj in Bhopal, women gathered to celebrate Faag Utsav, which is celebrating phoolon ki Holi. The program, organised entirely by women, included prayers, singing bhajans, dancing, playing Holi with flower petals, and enjoying various delicacies. Leaving all worries behind, these women came together, determined to celebrate with unadulterated joy. Women make gulal and incense sticks from recycled materialsIn the state of Jharkhand, a team of 25 women are financially empowering themselves while also promoting sustainable living. The initiative is part of Project Matangi and is taken by utilising the District Mineral Foundation funds. The offerings at the Rajrappa temple get thrown into the river, thus causing a lot of pollution. Flowers and belpatra are being collected, dried and used to create organic colours and incense sticks respectively. Mahila Baithaki Holi celebrated by Kumaoni women Largely celebrated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, women come together to celebrate arts and culture as part of Holi festivities. In Mahila Baithaki Holi celebrations, women come together and enjoy musical performances based on classical ragas, arranged by locals. For them, Holi is not about splashing colours but celebrating art while bonding over glasses of thandai.Images for representative purpose only, unless stated otherwise.