Bombay High Court issues directives for Dahi handi celebrations

Mumbai, August 11: The Bombay High Court on Monday told the Maharashtra government that the Dahi handi participants must be over 18 years and the human pyramid should be upto four-level or 20 feet.

Some activists had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that revealed that every year, due to participation in dahi handi (earthern pot filled with curd) celebrations, many children end up getting serious injuries and some of them have even died.

After listening the plea, the court directed the state government to modify the present age of 12 years to 18 years to take part in dahi handi celebrations.

A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode asked the state to issue a notification under the Bombay Police Act or other relevant law banning participation of those below 18 years of age in the pyramid-building.

Children are often made a part of pyramid-making team, as they are lighter.

The court also asked the state to ensure that the pyramids, which try and reach the handi' (pot) of curd tied high up and break it, do not rise above a certain safe height.

The judges also said that utmost care should be taken regarding the safety of children like event organisers should provide helmets, safety belts to 'govindas' and cushion layers at the venue.

This year, Sri Krishna Janamshtami falls on August 18 and the judges hoped that the government will implement the directives.

Dahi handi' is held once in a year to propitiate Hindu God Krishna, who as a child used to steal butter from earthen pots hung high from the ceiling. This practice to emulate Lord Krishna has now become a regular feature in major cities.

Children are often made a part of pyramid-making team, as they are lighter and thus can easily climb to the top.

OneIndia News

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