Mumbai’s Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti (DHSS), an umbrella body of Dahi Handi pathaks, recently concluded their committee meeting by deciding that various pathaks should invest more in safety kits and insurance for their members rather than on t-shirts and other expenses
After a gap of two years, the Dahi Handi pathaks in Mumbai are excited to celebrate the festival without any pandemic-induced restrictions in the city. Govinda pathaks (groups) in the city are hoping that the big organisers will announce competitive cash prizes.
Mumbai’s Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti (DHSS), an umbrella body of Dahi Handi pathaks, has advised pathaks to invest more in safety kits and insurance for their members rather than on T-shirts and other expenses.
Speaking about the preparations, Arun Patil, a committee member of DHSS, said, “DHUSS is encouraging pathaks to form human pyramid (tiers) only as per their daily practices to reduce the number of accidental incidents on the day of the festival. We don’t want any pathaks to increase their number of tiers without any practice as it will cause accidents.”
Bala Padalkar, president of DHSS, added, “There has been a gap of two years, so the pathaks need to practice before performing on the day of the festival. We have asked the Govinda pathaks to mainly focus on getting the medical insurance covered for their members. It should be done on a priority basis.”
The practice sessions of the Dahi Handi pathaks start on the day of Guru Purnima. This year, Dahi Handi will be celebrated on August 19. Mumbai has around 1,500 to 2,000 Govinda pathaks of which only three to four pathaks can form a nine-tier human pyramid, 20 to 25 pathaks can form an eight-tier human pyramid.
The organising mandals are yet to make announcements if they are organising a Dahi Handi event on a larger scale this year. Big organisers in the past include Dahi Handi events organised by politicians Ram Kadam, Jitendra Awhad, Pratap Sarnaik. While NCP leader Jitendra Awhad opted out of Dahi Handi events in 2015 due to age and height restrictions, BJP MLA Ram Kadam is yet to make an announcement related to the event. The festivities had been largely marred by the pandemic in the last two years as restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus were in place across the country.
Purvesh Sarnaik, son of MLA Pratap Sarnaik, who organises Sanskruti Yuva Pratishthan Dahi Handi, Thane in Vartak Nagar, will be arranging Pro Govinda competition. Until the last Dahi Handi event, the Pro Govinda competition was only for pathaks who perform eight-tier and nine-tier human pyramids.
“While not many mandals have announced their plans to organise Dahi Handi competition yet, we had a meeting with Pro Govinda organisers in Thane’s Vartak Nagar. This year, they have agreed to give chances to pathaks who form five and six-tier human pyramids too,” Patil added.