In a significant move, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on the occasion of Janmashtami on Thursday announced that Dahi Handi will get a status of sport and on the lines of Pro-Kabaddi, Pro-Dahi Handi will be introduced in the state.
‘’Dahi-handi will be recognised under the sports category in Maharashtra. 'Pro-Dahi-Handi' tournament will be introduced. The Govindas who emerge winners will get jobs under the sports category. We will provide insurance cover of Rs 10 lakhs for all 'Govindas'," said Shinde. He further added that the prize money for the tournament will be given by the government.
His announcement came on the eve of the big celebration of Dahi Handi slated for Friday. After assuming power, Shinde had announced that the Dahi Handi will be celebrated without any COVID 19 restrictions. His announcement was welcomed by various mandals across the state as they could celebrate Dahi handi for last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the state government to avoid the virus spread.
Dahi Handi is all about teamwork, coordination, focus and strength. Each pyramid can have nine layers and the lowest one consists of strong people who can bear the weight of the others on their shoulders.
CM in the state assembly in his response to a question raised by Pratap Sarnaiik, a legislator from his camp, said the the organisers of Dahi Handi festival were demanding that the tournament should be conducted. ‘’In the countries like Spain and China, the Dahi Handi game is included as a human tower (pyramid) in sports. Therefore, Dahi Handi will be recognised under the sports category like kabaddi, kho-kho and mallakhamb,’’ he noted.
Financial Assistance to Govindas in case of an accident
Further, Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during their interventions in the state assembly announced that the government will provide financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh to the families of the Govinda team in an accident during the Dahi Handi celebrations while making a human tower.
In case of damage to the eyes and hands, legs or any two important organs by directly falling from the layer of Dahi handi, the government will provide financial assistance of Rs 7.50 Lakh. The government will give Rs 5 lakh in case of damage or serious injury of an arm or a leg or any virtual organ.
In addition, Fadnavis said that the government will issue a notification on providing a group insurance cover for Dahi Handi teams adding as the time was too short it has taken a decision to provide financial assistance.
However, Shinde said the government has laid down a few conditions for providing financial assistance. It will be mandatory for the Dahi Handi organisers to obtain necessary local permits and they should strictly adhere to court orders and directives given by the administration and the police from time to time. The organisations will have to take care of the Govinda teams and they should have received formal or informal training.
Financial assistance will not be permissible in case of accident or accident due to reasons other than putting in place Dahi Handi layers. Besides, the aid will not be given to Govinda under 18 years as it will be mandatory to strictly follow the age limit.
In case of an accident, the Dahi Handi organisers will need to provide immediate medical assistance with the help of the local administration. The organisers will have to immediately submit a report about the accident to the administration and the police.