Owing to the sudden death of Arun Jaitley and funds being directed to flood-affected areas, city saw muted dahi handi celebrations
Revellers form a human pyramid to break the dahi handi in Dadar on Saturday. Pic/Atul Kamble
The city witnessed low-key Dahi Handi celebrations on Saturday, following the news of former finance minister Arun Jaitley's death and the after effects of the recent floods in the state. There were not many towering pyramids as several were cancelled, except a few in Thane, though one of the dahi handi celebrations ended early after news of Jaitley's death broke out.
Cash prizes were less in value as well, as many small organisers contributed towards the relief fund for flood-affected people instead. Leading up to the festival, the Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti (the coordinating committee) had urged the organisers to hold, and not cancel, the events, even if the scale had been toned down.
The dahi handi practice has been surrounded by controversy in the last few years over confusion surrounding the height permitted. Even large-scale organisers, such as politicians Sachin Ahir and Ram Kadam, stayed away from celebrations. One Govinda mandal representative, who was not willing to be named, said, "Since this was an election year, we expected big celebrations, but that didn't happen. Most of the funds have been directed towards flood affected people."
Bala Padelkar, Chairman of Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti, he was not available for comment. According to officials, as compared to last year, the number of injured too was lesser. Where last year, a total of 120 were reported injured, this year, 51 people were injured.