At least 78 ‘Govindas’ or Dahi Handi participants were injured while building human pyramids during the Krishna Janmashtami celebrations in Mumbai on Friday, PTI reported. Of those injured, most were treated and discharged, while 11 were hospitalised and their condition was stable, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said in a release.
The Dahi Handi (earthen pots filled with buttermilk and curd) is part of the Janmashtami festival where young participants who are called ‘Govindas’ form a human pyramid-like structure to reach the pot hung mid-air, while one person climbs onto the top, and breaks it.
The Maharashtra government has issued an order instructing government hospitals to treat injured members of Govinda troupes free of cost.
As of 6 pm, 17 Govindas were treated at the civic-run KEM hospital, followed by 11 at GT Hospital, 10 at Rajawadi hospital and nine at Nair hospital, among others.
The incidents of participants falling from heights and getting injured are common. Dahi Handi events and Govinda troupes receive considerable political patronage in cities like Mumbai and Thane. After a pandemic-induced gap of two years, the much-awaited festival in Maharashtra will be making a comeback this year.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had informed the state Legislative Assembly on Thursday that the government has decided to accord adventure sport status to Dahi Handi.
He also announced Rs 10 lakh insurance cover to Govindas, while a participant suffering serious injuries will receive Rs 17 lakh, and one with fractures will be paid Rs 15 lakh. The state government will bear all medical expenses of those injured and they can avail free medical treatment.
“We have decided to give sport status to Dahi Handi. The Govindas who participate in the game will be given Rs 10 lakh insurance cover. The Govindas will also be given priority in state government jobs,” he said.