State issues guidelines for Dahi Handi celebrationshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/state-issues-guidelines-for-dahi-handi-celebrations/

State issues guidelines for Dahi Handi celebrations

The state government had in February constituted a committee to study the issue of classifying Dahi Handi celebrations as adventure sports.

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Children below 12 cannot participate in the human pyramids. (Source: Express Photo)

After classifying the traditional Dahi Handi celebrations as “adventure sports”, the state government on Wednesday issued guidelines for the same. According to the new guidelines, no child below the age of 12 years will be permitted to participate in forming human pyramids during Dahi Handi. The participants will also have to submit a No-Objection Certificate (NoC) signed by their parents or guardians.

The state government had in February constituted a committee to study the issue of classifying Dahi Handi celebrations as adventure sports.

The cultural activity, celebrated on Gokulashtmi (Lord Krishna’s birthday), involves forming a human pyramid to reach an earthen pot, filled with buttermilk, at a considerable height. Injuries are common as the human pyramid often collapses.

Last August, the Bombay High Court had directed that no person below the age of 18 years should participate in Dahi Handi due to the risk of injuries. The Supreme Court, a few days later, had allowed children above the age of 12 years to participate if organisers guaranteed implementation of safety measures.

The state-appointed committee, headed by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar, was formed to give recommendations on the issue, keeping in mind all the strictures passed by the courts.

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Guidelines
* A state level committee should form regulations for Dahi Handi as an adventure sport. It will be mandatory for the organisers and the teams to follow those rules.
* Teams and organisers must ensure that all the members forming the human pyramid have safety equipment – chest guard, helmet, safety belt, safety harness etc.
* Organisers must get personal insurance of every player (govinda) participating in the human pyramid.
* Before organising the competition for Dahi Handi, organisers must acquire all necessary permissions, including permissions for a place, police bandobast, medical facilities, water availability etc.
* The state has not put any restriction on the height of the human pyramid.