Expressing concern over the death of children every year during the Dahi-handi festival in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court, on Monday, said that there should be no participation of children less than 18 years of age in human pyramids (Dahi Handi) during Janmashtami festival.
Last week, two children lost their lives during Dahi Handi practice. A 14-year-old boy Kiran Talekari from Sanpada in Navi Mumbai died on Saturday after suffering injuries during one such practice session, while Hrishikesh Patil from Jogeshwari on the same day late in the night.
The court further said, “ If any accident happens during the Dahi Handi celebration, then the organisers will be held responsible and action will be taken against them.“ Though the court has given permission to form the pyramid till the height of 20 feet it has directed organisers to make the Helmet and Safety belt available for participants. Mumbai Police has also issued a warning to all govinda mandals against using children in Dahi Handi events.
Meanwhile, The Bombay High Court on Friday had suggested to the state government to regulate the height of human pyramids during Janmashtami festival, when “govindas” form these pyramids to burst dahi handis in honour of Lord Krishna.
The court had also made these observations while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Chembur-based social worker Swati Patil, secretary of NGO Utkarsh Mahila Samajik Sanstha. The petition was argued by advocate Nitesh Nevshe who said that, “Last year, two persons died and around 365 were injured during the festival. There has to be some regulation to avoid deaths and serious injuries.”
The festival will be celebrated in the state on August 18 this year.