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Dahi Handi gets adventure sport status; would be regulated

dahi handi  

In a significant decision, Maharashtra government accorded the status of 'adventure sport' to the human pyramids of 'Govindas' which are formed during the Dahi Handi Festival but said those below 12 years won't be able to participate in it.

Maharashtra Cultural Affairs minister Vinod Tawde said the government recognised the spirit of unity, team and discipline in this activity, and therefore the decision was taken.Those under the age of 12 years won't be able to take part in pyramids. Those (boys as well as girls) in the age group 12 to 15 years will have to obtain permission from parents.

Though the pyramids, which sometimes rise upto as many as 10 tiers of Govindas, are integral part of festival, the activity also faces criticism because of the fatal injuries the participants can receive in case of a fall."The Govinda troupes will be able to register their associations, impart proper training...Hold demonstrations, award certificates and awards".

But the adventure sport status will also entail that organisers ensure that medical treatment is provided if a participant is injured, foam mattresses, harnesses, and guards for knee, chest and head are used, and Govindas are insured.

Dahi Handi is a sport 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.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 in it.