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‘Dahihandi’ an adventure sport in Maharashtra

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Mumbai’s famous Dahihandi, in which a human pyramid is formed to break an earthen pot filled with curd hanging mid-air, to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, is now an adventure sport.

On Wednesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra issued a Government Resolution (GR).

“From now, Dahihandi will be a sport approved by the government and will be played as per the rules and regulations to be written by a State-level association. It will not be limited to Janmashtami,” Sports Minister Vinod Tawde said.

The decision comes after the Bombay High Court put restrictions on the festival to curb noise pollution and avoid public nuisance. Going by the injuries and the deaths in the past, the court limited the height of the handi to 20 feet and banned minors from the event.

An association will be formed to write the rules and regulations. “Anyone can participate in the sport now, except those below 12 years. Minors will have to provide letters of approval from their parents,” Mr. Tawde said. Groups playing this sport would be trained and registered.

The Dahihandi groups who form human pyramid on janmashtami at various places in Mumbai had approached the government a month ago, seeking a solution. They even threatened to set up human pyramids in south Mumbai on August 15 in protest.

“It won’t matter whether the government declares it an adventure sport or not. The ambiguity over building pandals on road, loudspeaker and height remain as it is. The government has failed to resolve these issues,” said Jitendra Awhad of the Nationalist Congress Party, who organises one of the biggest Dahihandis in Mumbai and surrounding areas.

The festival has become one of the most glamorous festivals in Maharashtra, with prizes in lakhs are distributed in the presence of Bollywood stars. A special team of Spain where a similar festival is held too had visited Thane last year to participate.

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Printable version | Dec 17, 2018 9:43:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/dahihandi-an-adventure-sport-in-maharashtra/article7531481.ece

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