Mumbaikars take part Dahi Handi festival on Janmashtami
Residents of Mumbai today took part in the traditional Dahi Handi festival on the occasion of Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna.
Fourteen-year old Yash Rajendra Ansulkar cracked the handi, but this time, all the safety measures were in place, as he was tied to a harness.
Santosh Sudhir Vakarkhar, one of the organizers of the festival, said, "We have been celebrating this festival for the past twelve years, but this time, the safety harness gave us a lot of support. The boy cracked the handi for the second time and is also planning to crack it next year also."
Arun Sawant, a senior member of the organizing committee, said, "This system is used in mountain rock climbing. We are using the same safety measure. With this, the government, the police or parents of the child will have no objection. If we take it as a sport, there will be healthy competition. We are ready to give free training so that the festival goes ahead with all safety measures. We want to show to the nation that we are performing Dahi handi with all safety precautions, and therefore, avoiding bad publicity."
Sawant's assistant, Niranjan Ahir, endorsed his senior's views on safety.
Another organizing committee member, Swapnil, informed about the crash mat spread under the handi to avoid members standing at the base of the human pyramid from getting hurt.
Every year, hundreds of youth perform the Dahi Handi ritual during Janmashtami.
Earlier, the Bombay High Court had ruled that the height of the human pyramid cannot be more than 20 feet and children under 18 years cannot take part in the festival. However, the Supreme Court had stayed the high court's order.
(Posted on 18-08-2014)