Rupesh Mulik (26) was on the third tier of the pyramid when he slipped and fell to the ground and sustained a head injury, besides hurting his spine. He was rushed to KEM Hospital and only regained consciousness the next day.
The incident has prompted the mandal, which has been participating at numerous dahi handis between Byculla and Dadar every year, to back out from all events.
The mandal has been practicing from the past month, but their teammate’s condition has deterred them from participating this year. Rupesh works in the private sector and resides in Hasambhai Jetha Chawl near Nirmala Park at Byculla.
Rupesh said, “I was practicing just like any other day when I suddenly lost my balance and fell down from the third layer of the pyramid. The next thing I remember is waking up in KEM hospital with a severe pain in my head. Now, I just want to get well soon as my family must be worried about me.”
Vinod Shirshikar, Rupesh’s brother-in-law said that doctors have advised complete bed rest. “His head and spine is injured, but he is out of danger. We will not allow him to participate in the dahi handi festival, as the doctor has advised bed rest.”
Shailendra Manjrekar, member of Bhagwa Zenda Pathak at Byculla, said “Our mandal has decided not to participate in any dahi handi this year just to give Rupesh moral support.
Otherwise, we participate in all events between Byculla and Dadar and break around 30 to 35 handis every year. We used to earn cash prizes of around Rs 40,000, but this year though it will be different, we are fine with it.”