With the Bombay High Court issuing orders to ban children under 18 from taking part in Dahi Handi celebrations and the Supreme Court overruling it just three days ago, there has been a lot of confusion regarding the fate of the festival. As a result, the festival, to be held in the city tomorrow, will probably be a low-key affair.
Children below the age of 12 will not be allowed in human pyramids this Dahi Handi
The confusion ensured that most mandals did not have enough time to practice their pyramid formations, as there were no clear orders about the age limit of children involved. Some mandals, who allowed children below 12 years of age to practice with them, will now have to reduce the height of the pyramids.
After receiving a lot of flak for commercialising the festival, the Dahi Handi Utsav Samanvya Samiti, has decided to not accept any cash prize from organisers for forming pyramids. The Samiti has requested all mandals affiliated to them to celebrate the festival without involving monetary gain.
The Samiti has also asked major organisers to not invite celebrity guests and instead, spend the money on govindas, who were injured during practice sessions. The mandals also would be focussing on ensuring minimal injuries tomorrow.
The President of Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti, Bala Padelkar told sunday mid-day, “We would like to form the pyramids with our own money. We have appealed to over 1,200 mandals across Mumbai and Thane, which are registered with the Samiti, not to accept any cash prize.”
Rahul Patange, Secretary of Zarimari Govinda Pathak, Mangalwadi, said, “There was a lot of confusion, but now, with the SC order, we can form pyramids above 20 feet. We will go ahead with all the necessary safety features.”