To ensure a safe and sound dahi handi, the Bombay High Court had issued several directions in 2014 while hearing a batch of public interest litigations (PILs) expressing concern over the forming of human pyramids.
The PILs averred that dahi handi was a dangerous event in which several govindas are injured every year, sometimes fatally. Some of the govindas also suffer a permanent disability due to the fall.
In 2014, the HC issued several safety directions to the authorities concerned, including the state government, organisers and the participant mandals.
The HC had declined to place restrictions on the age of govindas and the height of dahi handi pyramids. It said that it was for the state to enact legislation in that respect. The court accepted the state government's statement that children below 14 years will not be allowed to participate.
For personal safety of govindas, the organisers were directed to provide helmets, safety belts and cushion layers at the venue of performance.
“Providing layers of cushions of size and terms of thickness on the earth to minimise the injury in case of fall of govindas,” the court had said. Also, a strong net of nylon of sufficient size was directed to be kept ready. Stage at dahi handi venue should be properly constructed and unnecessary crowds on the stage should be avoided, the court had said, restraining the use of hazardous chemicals along with water.
The organisers were asked to provide facilities for mobile toilets as well. In addition, they were directed to give an undertaking that they will make available immediate medical help, like making available ambulances with first aid and infrastructure necessary to treat injured govindas.