A study conducted by doctors at Sion hospital has revealed that it is not just climbing the pyramid, but drunkenness, and rowdy commutes on trucks that lead to injuries during the Dahi Handi festival
The state, which has been mulling the idea of turning Dahi Handi into an official sport, will have an uphill task on its hands if it decides go ahead with the plan.
A study conducted by doctors at the civic-run Sion hospital reveals that 17 per cent of the govindas who took a tumble and sustained injuries were climbing under the influence of alcohol.
The study revealed that govindas stationed at the lower layers are at greater risk, as when the pyramid crumbles, they have to bear the crushing weight of those on top
Another 18 per cent sustained the injuries while they were travelling to and from the festive venues, while others were innocent bystanders.
The team will be forwarding the results of their study to the higher authorities including the municipal commissioner, who can use them to formulate a set of guidelines, which can help reduce the number of accidents next year.
During this year's festivities, 148 people sustained injuries, of which 96 per cent belonged to the age group of 16-30 years, and 4 per cent were below 15 years.
All were made to fill questionnaires. The information received from these questionnaires have made clear the dangers associated with the sport, and brought home the need to put various preventive measures in place before formalising the traditional act of revelry into an official sport.
The doctors have recommended that alcohol consumption for govindas be restricted, advocating that Janmashthami be declared a dry day by the state.
They have also suggested that the use of trucks to transport the govindas be banned, and BEST buses be roped in to convey participants to and from the festive venues.
Exposing the hollowness of the tall claims made by Dahi Handi organisers who insisted that they had ambulances ready, the study revealed that 52 per cent of the injured had to be rushed to the hospital in auto rickshaws, while 21 per cent were transported in cabs.
Another 10 per cent were conveyed to the healing halls in bikes. A mere five govindas were reached the hospitals in ambulances.
148 Total number of casualties at the Dahi Handi festival 17 Percentage of govindas who were climbing under the influence of alcohol 18 Percentage of govindas who were climbing under the influence of alcohol 12 The number of bystanders who were injured, when the pyramids came crashing down on them