There is no field left unconquered by women, and dahi handi celebration is one example of it. There are a lot of mahila govindas in Navi Mumbai who have come to the forefront to participate in breaking of the pots. And this not only includes adults, but also small girls in the age group of seven to 12.
Although, they have to be trained, the collective thinking that women can achieve as much as men is what drives these women to take part in this dangerous yet adrenaline-pumping activity.
Valmik Naik, a physical trainer in new Horizon Public School, also trains women who want to take part in dahi handi. “This is the sixth year and what started as a small group of women today includes over 100 of them.
While training, I focus on exercises which will build their endurance and balance skills,” he said adding, “Although, they have issues when it comes to stamina, they are willing to put in their best.”
Working women as well as homemakers take part in the dahi handi celebrations. Their practice includes jumping hurdles, skipping, doing surya namaskar and weight-lifting to enhance muscles.
Anjali Sawant, who has been participating for six years now, said, “My daughter was interested in sport, so she was the first to go. Soon, I also joined her because it is a fun activity and since we are both inclined in sport, we enjoy it all the more. The whole day we go to different places to break handis and have fun.”
Godavari Adbhai, another mahila govinda said, “When we started out, there were no women participating in this event and I feel proud that I am among the first to have started this. I was scared in the beginning, but everyone including my kids appreciated my efforts and so it has been a good experience.”
Speaking about her best memory, Adbhai said, “In 2008, when we first started out, we had gone to a place to set up only 4-tiered pyramid. But the onlookers and our friends encouraged us so much that we were successful in creating 5-tiered one.”
Adbhai’s daughter, Vijaya who is 19-year-old, is also doing the same and enjoys the whole thing to the core. “Everyone should encourage us in our endeavour and there should be more women participating in this.”