Janmashtami 2018: Top western suburbs group bows out

Mumbai: This year, Vile Parle’s Krishna Hegde Pratishthan decided not to celebrate dahi handi, in a bid to remain injury-free. Former Congress MLA Hegde said, “Celebrations are always about being merry and joyful. If people get injured and it leads to deaths, we are bound to take a step back.”

The Krishna Hegde Pratisthan Dahi Handi, rated among the top five dahi handis of Mumbai and Thane, was the most celebrated one in the western suburbs.  In the light of the increasing statistics of injuries and death after govindas fell from tall human pyramids, the Krishna Hegde Pratishthan decided to refrain from celebrating the festival at all. In 2014, this group’s dahi handi had witnessed an impressive celebrity turnout from both Bollywood and the cricketing world.

Hegde added, “In 2014, we had scaled down the prize money and also had a six-tier cap on the human pyramid. However, with the Supreme Court order passed in 2016, the rules and regulations have made the hosting of these events even more difficult.” He explained, the 20-foot cap meant pyramids could not go over four tiers. As this would deny ‘govinda pathaks’ their share of fun and challenge, this year it was decided to scrap the idea entirely, following in the stead of NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad.

Sachin More, a member of Gopal Kala Mandal of Andheri said, “Many have backed out of participating in the joyous festivals after rules were levied on us. It just took away all the fun one used to have. The use of helmets was still doable, but cutting down the layers of the human pyramid and getting a lock on the height, meant not many turned up for practice, unlike earlier years.”

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