A 20-year-old man, who suffered serious injuries during dahi handi, died on Saturday morning at the KEM Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for the past one-and-a-half months. This is the third such fatality this year as earlier two govindas from Bhandup and Vidyavihar had met similar fate.
Prathamesh Sawant, an orphan, was brought to the civic-rum KEM after falling from the uppermost tier of the human pyramid formed to break dahi handi in Ghatkopar. A member of Sai Bhakt Krida Mandal from Currey Road, he climbed atop the pyramid without safety gear. As a result, he suffered spine injury owing to the crushing fall.
“His spine was badly injured so he was unable to move his body. He died due to cardiac arrest in the morning,” said Dr Sangeeta Raval Doctor who was treating Sawant. After spending several days in the ICU, he was also kept on ventilator support for a few weeks, she added.
In his personal capacity, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had given Rs5 lakh for the Prathamesh's treatment, while other govinda groups had also contributed.
Prathamesh lived with his uncle and aunt following the deaths of his father and sister. His mother had died due to cancer when he was very young. Besides pursuing an ITI course, he delivered newspapers in the morning and worked as a pizza delivery boy in the evening.
Shiv Sena corporator from Lalbaug Anil Kokil, who paid multiple visits to Prathamesh at hospital, demanded Rs20 lakh compensation, asserting that “he was sole breadwinner of his family”. The state government has categorised dahi handi as an adventure sport. It has also declared 5% reservation in government jobs. Also, the BJP has promised Rs10 lakh life insurance policy for govindas but in reality none of them received anything, Kokil alleged. Wooed by the government job promise, several participated in dahi handi without practise, he added.
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