After an initial hiccup while raising money for the air tickets, the all-women dahi handi team finally flew out in time for their performance at Times Square today
One day after mid-day reported that an all-women dahi handi team invited to perform at New York, was unable to raise money to pay for air tickets, the female govindas finally flew to the US on Thursday night right on time for their performance at Times Square today.
mid-day’s report on September 17
mid-day had reported that the 15-member team will be the first all-women govindas to perform at Times Square, and were handpicked from dahi handi mandals across Mumbai and Thane (Dahi Handi at Times Square: All-women govindas struggle to raise airfare, September 17).
Invited to perform as a highlight act at Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s (MTDC) event, ‘Diwali Celebration at the Times Square in New York’, the team’s stay, food and visa expenses have been sponsored by the state corporation. But the girls were required to find the funds to pay for the air tickets themselves.
A week or so ahead of the performance, the team was quickly starting to lose hope, as it had barely collected any money at all by that point. However, with the help of contributions from various quarters, they were finally able to arrange more than half the required amount.
Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti president, Bala Padalkar and Kurla Corporator Vijay Tandel had managed to raise Rs 2 lakh earlier, but the group still had to raise another Rs 10 lakh. “At the very last moment, NCP leader Jitendra Awhad came forward and contributed Rs 5 lakh.
This money has been given to MTDC, as they have booked tickets for the team. We hope to raise more money so once the team returns, the remaining amount can also be paid,” said Padalkar.