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  Metros   Mumbai  08 Aug 2017  Safety of govindas a concern: Activists

Safety of govindas a concern: Activists

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 8, 2017, 1:10 am IST
Updated : Aug 8, 2017, 1:10 am IST

Fewer participants injured since 2014 during Dahi handi due to restrictions, claims petitioner.

 The court said that putting limitations on height of the Dahi handi and setting age bar for the participant in the festival falls within the domain of legislature.
  The court said that putting limitations on height of the Dahi handi and setting age bar for the participant in the festival falls within the domain of legislature.

Mumbai: While Dahi handi organisers have welcomed the high court’s decision to remove the ban on human pyramids above 20 feet on Monday, activists have expressed concerns about the safety of the participants.

Activist and petitioner Swati Patil said, “The Supreme Court should have given the order when the matter was with it.” She said, “It is a fact that since 2014, due to the restrictions, the rate of injuries incurred during Dahi handi had fallen by up to 80 per cent.” She further said, “If more govindas are injured this year, then we will approach the Supreme court.”

“The state government in the high court has put the version of Dahi-handi mandals very positively and therefore the Dahi handi lovers, and mandals got justice,” said BJP Mumbai chief and MLA Ashish Shelar, who also the chairman of the state Dahi handi coordination committee.

“Since the beginning, our government has taken the view that one must take safety measures while celebrating Dahi handi festival. I have personally followed the matter for two years,” said Mr Shelar. “The government has appointed additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta as the lawyer for the state and gave an assurance to the court that all safety measures will be followed strictly,” added Mr Shelar.

Sameer Sawant, who is the organiser and chairman of the Prem Nagar Sports Club Dahi handi Mandal in Chunabhatti, told The Asian Age, “Restricting the height up to 20 feet and putting a ban on the participatants who are below 18 years was not right.” He said, “I felt as if due the ban, Dahi handi was not being performed properly, but now we welcome the high court’s decision.” He added, “I am also a member of Dahi handi co-ordination committee, and as a member, we will appeal to all the mandals to build human pyramids only as high as their strength.”

Tags: dahi handi, ashish shelar