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Dahi Handi for a cause

On the occasion of Dahi Handi, people gather and make a human pyramid to break the earthen handi, hung high in the air, with the help of a rope. The players are known as Govindas or Bal Gopals. The sport is based on the legend of Krishna stealing makhan (butter) or dahi (curd) from the handi. GUIDE tried to find out where to catch the unique Dahi Handi celebrations in the city.

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A woman decorates colourful matkas for Dahi Handi
A woman decorates colourful matkas for Dahi Handi

Anand Saraf, president of the NGO’s coordinating group with the Dahi Handi groups in the city, said “One of the participating groups, Suvarnayug Mandal, will be depositing Rs 1 lakh for the families of martyr Kundalik Mane, one of the five soldiers of the Indian Army killed by Pakistani troops in Poonch recently. This is one of the oldest mandals in the city, which has been celebrating the festival over the last 50 years.

Dahi handi celebrations
Dahi handi celebrations. File Photos

Their Dahi Handi celebrations have been a major attraction for the crowds every year.” Mahesh Suryavanshi of Suvarnayug Mandal said, “We have given the money and kept Rs 50,000 each as fixed deposits for Mane’s son and daughter. Our mandal members handed over these receipts to Mane’s family in Pimpalgaon village in Kolhapur.”

Suvarnayug Tarun Mandal and five other Ganesh Mandal gave Rs 1,35,000 donation to the family of martyr Kundalik Mane, one of the five soldiers of the Indian Army killed by the Pakistani troops in Poonch sector recently. He added that we will do the Dahi Handi in a simple way and save money.

Dahi Handi celebrations
Dahi Handi celebrations

A Dahi Handi group from 11 Maruti Chowk Mitra Mandal will be conducting a Pustak handi (books handi), adds Anand. They will donate books and grains to handicapped children. The Gowardhan Foundation Handi, which is located near Mandai, will be holding a Dhol-Tassa competition for school children to encourage them to participate in dhol- tassa groups.┬áThe Tulsi Bagh Mandal will be donating 500 kilograms of grains to groups working for orphan children in the city. There will also be a women dahi handi that will be held in Kothrud where in all the Govindas will be women only,” concludes Anand.

There will be a women’s handi by Sahir Hinge Lok Kala Prabhodhini where the money generated will be donated to orphan children. Shir Hemantraje Mavale, president of this group, said, “For the last 10 years, we have been donating money to orphans. This year, we will donate it to the Vanashit Vikas organisation’s Phulava Project which works for children growing up in red light areas. These children will come and break the handi. We will give them 500 kg grains and food will be provided to them. The Dahi Handi programme will start at Kasbapeth, Manik Chowkfrom 11 am onwards.”

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